MONROE CITY, Mo. | The Monroe City High School preseason fall sports jamborees have become another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, Monroe City High School officials decided to cancel the annual preseason football jamboree that was scheduled for Aug. 21. The softball jamboree scheduled for Aug. 24 was also canceled.
Monroe City High School athletic director Cody Leonard said the school district made the decision after the recommendation from the Missouri Football Coaches Association and after consulting with other athletic directors and superintendents from the Clarence Cannon Conference.
“We all agreed to cancel football and softball jamborees this year, again to give us the best possible chance to reach our first contest without any flair up,” Leonard said.
Many other schools in other conferences, such as Hannibal, have also canceled its preseason jamborees.
Leonard said this decision gives Monroe City's student-athletes the best chance to compete in the regular season.
“As a coach myself, I like the jamboree set up for sports to get to see your athletes in action against other schools, but at the same time, they aren't real games,” Leonard said. “We are in an unprecedented time right now.”
The move to cancel the jamboree is a blow to the Monroe City community, who have been a longtime host of the football jamboree.
“It is kind of the first chance for the community to see football,” Leonard said. “It's not a normal game by any means, but it's still something to get them ready for the season. Again, every decision we are trying to make is with giving out student-athletes the best chance to have a regular season.”
The football season is scheduled to kick off on Friday, Aug. 28 against St. Pius X of Festus. Softball's opener is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 1 against Mark Twain, and both cross country teams will compete in the Salisbury 3500 on Sept. 1.
For now, Monroe City and other CCC teams will prepare for the start of the regular fall sports season.
“I think anyone that has been paying attention knows everything right now is a very fluid situation,” Leonard said. “Things can change on a dime. We are going to proceed until someone tells us something else.”
Leonard said he is unsure if the cancellation of the preseason football and softball jamborees will have an impact on those teams preparation for the season.
“Hard to tell,” Leonard said. “I know many schools are in the same boat as the rest of us. I think ultimately it evens itself out.”
The Monroe City School District has been in consultation with the local health department on what type of safety precautions to take.
“The more communication the better,” Leonard said. “As I have said, we are doing the best we can to protect the students, staff and all stakeholders involved in reopening schools, having sports and everything that comes along with the beginning of the school year.”