MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When school is canceled, many times activities are too, and that’s putting pressure on activities directors across the state. They’ve had to reschedule everything from basketball games to theater events.

Add in the fact that section tournaments and competitions are right around the corner, and it becomes even more complicated.

“Very stressful, very frustrating, tears have been shed,” Gretchen Wurzer-Palm said. “And I’ve never, ever seen a season like this.”

Wurzer-Palm has been the theater director at Robbinsdale Cooper High School for 12 years. Their winter musical “Hairspray” is supposed to take the stage in less than two weeks, but no school means no rehearsal time. Sixty-two students are involved in the production, so coordination is key. And despite lost time, the show must go on.

“We’ll have to use President’s Day and do a massive rehearsal from about 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. that day,” Wurzer-Palm said. “It’s difficult. It’s a difficult process anyway. But having the weather literally work against you makes it just that more difficult.”

From musicals and arts to athletics, losing five days of school essentially means five make-up dates for sporting events like basketball games and wrestling matches.

“It’s a really big headache between transportation, changing up officials, finding common dates,” John Oelfke, activities director at Cooper, said.

And finding time to fit it all in before sections start. Oelfke said the trick is not putting too many make-up games on the schedule. But at the same time, missing games can have competitive consequences.

“Conference standing can be determined. And then any games missed may or may not have affected your section standings,” Oelfke said.

It’s like trying to beat the shot clock on the season during a time when every game and every match mean something.

“If it happened to us earlier in the winter you just have more open slots and more opportunities to try and fit something in,” Oelfke said.

John Lauritsen

  1. Gone are the days of just bundling up, today’s adults are to wussy. Back in the day we would just wear extra clothes to the bus stop on really cold days.