With the fall season just days away, Boonville Athletic Director Chris Shikles said the No. 1 goal is to be proactive in the health and safety of the kids and coaches.


Like many schools across the state, Boonville will hit the ground running on Monday with the first day of practice in football, volleyball, softball, cross-country, boys soccer, girls golf and girls tennis.


Although the county has been recently hit with a rash of COVID-19 cases, Shikles said the kids and coaches are excited for practices to start.


"We are excited to get kids back on campus," Shikles said. "We are going to do all that we can to keep our kids safe, our staff safe and to keep our fall season going. Our plan is proactive. We are trying to get out ahead of any incident but we are also ready to be reactive. If a situation would come up and we would have a positive case we have a plan in place to deal with that situation."


To combat the threat of COVID-19 cases, Shikles said the district has purchased face gators for every athlete and every band member. He said the face coverings are designed to wear around the neck so that a kid can pull it down when they are doing a physical activity or playing an instrument. then they pull it back up when they are not able to socially distance from others.


Shikles said he also met with coaches last week and talked about screening kids and doing health checks as they come into practice every day. He said masks are required when the athletes are unable to social distance, but when they are physically active they can pull their mask down.


"Everybody is on the same page," Shikles said of the coaches. "We will do everything we can do keep our kids safe. However, the only thing certain is uncertainity right now. What we have to do is take this thing one day at a time. We have to deal with the changes. We have to deal with this thing being fluid and we just have to be ready for whatever comes our way. It's hard to lead into battle when you don't know what you are battling against. This is a mystery to everybody even professionals. We are just doing all that we can to assure the safety of our staff and our kids."


Shikles also wanted to assure parents that the district is also being very proactive in their approach to getting kids back to practice. He said the district will follow MSHSAA guidelines along with district and county guidelines that are set forth.


"It's all based county to county and school district to school district," Shikles said. "There is no complete umbrella policy for a conference. It's all based on your location. Our goal is to get kids back safely and do all that we can to have a fall athletic season. We're focused on Monday and getting kids back safely."


Shikles said at some point the conference will also have to address how many spectators can attend sporting events.


"I think each individual county and district will have to address on how many spectators we can have at an event," Shikles said. "Right now we don't know if we can have 200 people in the gym or a 1,000 people at a football game."


Boonville teams open fall practice on Monday


The Boonville boys soccer team will be the first of many teams to open the 2020 season with a midnight practice under the watchful eye of head coach Kaz James.


The Boonville boys and girls cross-country team will hit the ground running with its first practice on Monday from 7-8:30 a.m. The Boonville Lady Pirates softball team will hold its first practice from 6:30-9:30 a.m. The Boonville Pirates football team will conduct its first practice from 6-9:30 a.m. The Boonville girls golf team will open with its first official practice at Hail Ridge at 9 a.m. The Boonville Lady Pirates tennis team will meet at the high school courts for practice at 3 p.m. Meanwhile, from 6-8 p.m., the Boonville Lady Pirates volleyball team will hold their first practice under head coach Dina Herzog and assistant coaches Brittney Lowe and Joedi Herzog. The cheerleading squad will practice from 8-10 a.m. on Monday while the dance team will meet at Hannah Cole Primary for practice from 8:30-10:30 a.m.


Season sports passes will go on Sale on August 17


Boonville Athletic Director Chris Shikles said season sports passes will go on sale on Monday, August 17 at Boonville R-I High School and Laura Speed Elliott Middle School.


The cost is $40 for student season passes, $45 for adult season passes and $100 for a family pass. Shikles said the passes are for all sporting events. Pre-school children are admitted free along with senior citizens. Children not attending school in grades K-12 are not to be included in a family pass. Shikles said they may buy an adult pass or pay at the gate.


Tickets may be purchased in the principal’s office at Boonville R-IHigh School and LSE. Tickets will also be available at the home football games. Make checks or money order out to: Athletic Department, Boonville R-I High School, 1 Pirate Drive, Boonville, Mo., 65233, or Athletic Department, Laura Speed Elliott Middle School, 700 Main Street, Boonville, Mo., 65233.


Make checks payable to Boonville R-I Schools. Tickets may be picked up in the principal’s office or will be mailed on receipt of the order.


Shikles said tournaments and playoffs are not included in season passes. He said season passes are only good for Boonville R-I High School athletic events and Laura Speed Elliott athletic events.


Softball, volleyball will kick off 2020 season


The Boonville Lady Pirates softball team and the Boonville JV volleyball team will open the 2020 season on Saturday, Aug. 29. The Lady Pirates softball team will compete in the Lady Pirate Leadoff Classic in Boonville, while the Lady Pirates JV volleyball team will compete in the Tri-County Conference Tournament at Southern Boone.


The Boonville Pirates football team will open the season at home against the Pleasant Hill Roosters on Friday, August 28 starting at 7 p.m.


The Boonville Pirates JV football team will kick off the 2020 season on the road against the Pleasant Hill Roosters starting at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Boonville Lady Pirates volleyball team will host Southern Boone in the season opener starting at 5. Also, on Sept. 1, Boonville’s cross-country team will travel to Salisbury for its season opener at 4 p.m. The Boonville girls golf team will host Southern Boone at Hail Ridge starting at 4. The Boonville boys soccer team will travel to Clinton on Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. The Boonville girls tennis team will play a match on the road against Mexico on Sept. 1 at 4, while the Lady Pirates softball team will travel to Columbia for a game against Hickman on that same day at 5:30 p.m.