RED WING — As with any school cancellation, teachers and coaches remain in contact with their students and players. During the first week with no school and no high school sports due to COVID-19, the communication remains.

In a recent phone interview with Red Wing athletic director Paul Hartmann, he said technology has made keeping in contact incredibly easy.

With no practices, no scrimmages and no games, Hartmann said as of now coaches are checking in with their athletes on a weekly basis. If the situation were to get worse, coaches – many of whom are teachers as well – would increase the amount of contact to an everyday basis.

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“This is a level of uncertainty that we’ve never seen before,” Hartmann said. “We’ll learn more in the coming weeks.”

Hartmann added this has been extremely hard on the seniors who now have their respective seasons in limbo. While it isn’t easy for the athletes or the families affected, Hartmann said he hopes everyone remains optimistic of a return to normalcy.

The social aspect sports provides is the most difficult to replicate during this period of social distancing. There is only so much that can be done. Coaches and teachers can continue to reach out to the best of their abilities.

However, Hartmann said what works for most, may not work for everyone. Finding a way to stay connected to sustain a relationship is more important than ever.

“We want to show everyone they are significant,” Hartmann said. “We all want to win, but the relationships will serve you well.”

If the start of spring sports is delayed again, Hartmann said each sport will have shortened seasons. None of the sports would add an extension into the summer because of graduations, summer leagues and the ending of the fiscal year.

As for the athletics department, the hiring process will go on as normal. A few positions remain open and Hartmann said he’d like to fill them in the coming weeks. Interviews are being done, just not face-to-face.

“The significance of athletics is huge,” Hartmann said. “It’s about neighborhoods. In this time, we’re being challenged and tested in a different way.”

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