Things were different Tuesday night when the Forest City girls basketball team opened their season at Algona. From parking spaces to the smell, it was different – very different. Arriving 15 minutes before tip didn’t force you to park and walk. When you walked in, there wasn’t the smell of popcorn and the sound of kids running around the commons area. The parents and family members allowed in – two per student-athlete – could only watch the game they were there to see. Varsity fans gathered like they were waiting to get into a state tournament game, the gym was cleared, and fans were allowed to find a seat – these all mandated by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.
The Forest City girls basketball team took it a step further. They decided they would wear masks while playing, while warming up, shooting around – they want to be protected.
That’s Forest City coach Matt Erpelding. Forest City leader and senior Kaylee Miller added that in baseball, softball, football, and volleyball, teams lost part of or the rest of their seasons due to COVID-19; they want to protect themselves.
Erpelding final remarks on the topic were about his team, but they are words that hit home around the country today.
The Forest City girls basketball team may have been uncomfortable but proved that masks aren’t the difference between wins and losses. Though, they could be the difference between the school’s first-ever state tournament appearance or not.
The Forest City girls basketball team will return to action on Monday during a girl/boy doubleheader. The pregame show will start around 6:00 pm, with the first tip against Spirit Lake, set for 6:15 pm. The boys’ game will follow on KIOW and live-streamed at KIOW.com.