By Chris Parker
Springfield Public Schools athletic programs will be sticking to southwest Missouri for their regular season competitions this fall, according to SPS Athletic Director Josh Scott.
“There was a suggestion from the Sports Medicine Advisory group to not have overnight stays, and to try and stay more regionally the best that we could,” Scott said. “We are taking that advice from the medical groups and just made the decision this year to do what we could to have as many games close to home as we could.”
The region defined as “southwest Missouri” includes a boundary of Bolivar, Camdenton & Rolla to the north. Branson to the south, West Plains to the east and the Joplin area to the south and west.
“There is just so much up in the air and it is such an ever-changing situation that we felt most comfortable keeping our teams closer to home this year,” Scott said.
Scott also said that schools outside of that region won’t be coming to play the SPS schools as visitors as of right now.
Central football could be the lone exception, as the Bulldogs returned to playing an independent schedule this year.
“Central football is the one team that we are really trying to look at and weight pros and cons of all these decisions,” Scott said. “You look at their nine-game schedule and five of the games are out of what we would consider southwest. Their schedule we are trying to look at differently just because they aren’t a conference school. Every time you lose a football game you lose 10% of a schedule. We are also waiting to hear a little bit from our Kansas and Arkansas opponents to make sure they are on schedule.”
Scott said there have been no discussions about winter sports as of yet.