Virus turns March 12 into crazy day for Lutheran

Sheboygan Lutheran athletic director Al Holzheimer seems to have a new task everyday.

Sheboygan Lutheran principal Al Holzheimer also seems to have a new task everyday.

“The principal job, for sure,” he said. “Then Gov. Evers says (last) Tuesday it’s indefinite, so how do you plan for something indefinite?”

‘It’ refers to the cancellation of school and sports because of the Coronavirus.

“It’s disappointing but you can’t blame anybody,” Holzheimer said. “Everybody is trying to do the best they can, I think. It’s just unfortunate. That’s my attitude toward it. You’ve just got to deal with it day to day.”

The day he hopes to never have to duplicate is March 12.

Around 8:00 the morning, the WIAA announced only 88 fans from each basketball team still playing would be allowed to attend games that day – including Lutheran’s Division 5 sectional semifinal against Hustisford that night at Oshkosh West.

Holzheimer immediately informed/apologized to the band, cheerleaders and students who planned on attending, cancelled the fan bus to the game and had to inform those who bought tickets how to get their refund.

But at 1:00 that day, Holzheimer received an email from Oshkosh West that stated its district ruled it could only host the playoff game if just the teams and one school official were in the gym – no one else.

That was not a favorable option, so Holzheimer communicated with Hustisford to figure out a new plan.

After officials at both schools searched for a new place to play, they agreed to move the game to Central Wisconsin Christian in Waupun.

“They were very gracious to host it,” Holzheimer said. “They had a grade school musical going on so the parking lot was full, but they were in another area of the school and they just did a first-class job with everything. They had their announcers there, had music there. It was a small gym, but it was the right size for only having 176 people there. It was a better venue than going to Oshkosh West for that reason. …

“So in the moment, you forgot there was only 88 people there from each school. I appreciated what they did. That was awesome.”

Crusaders’ coach Nick Verhagen agreed.

“We weren’t able to get as many students there as we would have liked, but there was a lot of family there,” he said, “So it was pretty special. It was an intimate, small gym, so it was really loud still. It was a cool atmosphere.

“It would have been different if we had played at Oshkosh West or something like that because it wouldn’t have been as intimate. But this gym was really small. There were no bleachers behind our bench. Across from us were our fans and across from the other team were their fans.”

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