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Blue Devils staying positive, prepared as pandemic enters winter season

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Layne Pitt/UW-Stout

MENOMONIE (WQOW) - As the coronavirus pandemic enters its second winter sports season, Duey Naatz can't remember a time when he heard a Blue Devils coach or student-athlete complain.

"They have been fantastic. They get it, they understand," he said.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has suspended competitions through the end of the year, but practices are still occurring across the conference.

UW-Stout teams recently began small group workouts. Naatz said Wednesday the activities are cautious, controlled and limited.

WIAC leaders will meet in mid-December to discuss the next steps for the winter season. Naatz is hopeful the Blue Devils can compete in conference games, but knows the situation is changing by the day.

"What that looks like, a timeline of when that would start, what winter break looks like, all of those things all depend on testing and safety and what's going to happen out there," he said. "I can't give you a thumbs up or down on where it's going to end up."

Naatz is most proud of how the Blue Devils are handling the adversity of canceled games and limited practices.

"Just the approach our campus has taken has been different than some of our other institutions in the conference, but I think it's been the best for us," he said. "I'm proud of where we're at."

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Nick Tabbert

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