LOUISBURG, KS (KCTV) -- Winter sports will begin for some schools in early December, but with some big changes.

In districts like USD 416 in Louisburg, student athletes are getting used to competing in the world of COVID-19.

Weston Gueterman, a senior, began basketball practice just a few weeks after his football season ended. 

The school's first game is Friday night, set to play under a set of strict guidelines from KSHSAA that include wearing masks, no spectators until at least Jan. 28 and limitations on large tournaments and invitationals.

"We're grateful to have it," Guetterman said. "Mask, no mask, fans, no fans, we're just grateful for the opportunity to play."

Another athlete, Cade Holtzen, has been missing wrestling. His sport will resume in the coming weeks, too.

"I haven't been able to wrestle. I haven't been able to get on the mat," he said. 

Michael Pickman, the Activities Director for the district, said schools like his learned a lot from fall activities like football.

Though no spectators are allowed, KSHSAA approved cheerleaders and pep bands for games.

"There are a lot of things outside of our control during a pandemic," Pickman said. "But the thing that's within our control is doing it safely."

Holtzen and Guetterman both understand that this season will take place in an ever-changing environment. Even with safety restrictions, each game could be their last if communities are unable to control the spread of the virus.

"I'm savoring every moment of it," Holzen said. "If it ends, that's it. You have to live in the moment."

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