ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – With St. Louis County guidelines keeping most high school student-athletes sidelined, Incarnate Word Academy decided to head out to St. Charles County to play sports.
Incarnate Word Academy played a softball game in St. Charles County Tuesday evening and plans on going to Duchesne Thursday for softball and volleyball.
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page isn’t allowing most fall sports at this time to be played in the county; so, Incarnate Word packed up and headed west.
Dan Rolfes, the athletic director at Incarnate Word, said the school sought legal advice before venturing west to St. Charles County.
“That was the first thing we did was to get legal advice, get our board of directors behind us, and make sure it was ok with MSHAA, and they all said we could play in St. Charles County,” he said.
Rolfes, who also serves as the varsity girls basketball coach, said a large number of their students live in St. Charles County as well.
“It wasn’t a decision we took lightly or without due process. We looked at youth and older select sports – soccer, baseball, softball. All have been practicing in St. Louis County but going to St. Charles County to play their games,” he said.
After months of research, Rolfes said school administrators felt they were not at risk to spread COVID.
“We’re in school five days a week,” he said. “We’re taking precautions. We’ve been practicing since August 10. And with no issues.”
Scheduling games is difficult, according to Rolfes, but he said he won’t stop until he gets the Incarnate Word girls playing.
“I have heard from multiple ADs talking about what we did and getting information we found,” Rolfes said.
Page made the following statement in response to Incarnate Word playing in St. Charles County:
“Our guidelines issued by the department of public health do not include penalties for playing outside of St. Louis county. Our public health orders are in place to protect kids and traveling outside the county increases the risks we are working hard to lower.”