Rec Soccer Coaches Blast Iowa Governor's Mandate

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After COVID-19 dashed any expectation of normalcy for youth soccer in Iowa, coaches are now questioning recent restrictions that state government has placed on the sport.

Henk Rook, Cedar Rapids regional commissioner for the American Youth Soccer Organization, told News Now that he’d hoped a safe winter indoor youth soccer season would be a possibility.

"Without spectators and only kids wearing masks," Henk said, noting that of the 1,400 kids that participated during the season, his AYSO did not see any soccer-related exposure. However, 24 players and six coaches did quarantine due to exposure elsewhere. 

Regardless of precautions in place for an winter indoor season, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds announced Monday that all recreation youth and adult sports of any size are prohibited in the state of Iowa.

"I was angry," said soccer coach Jim Conklin whose players had already dealt with COVID and the devastating derecho that swept through the area.

Conklin says the governor’s mandates are an infringement on his rights.

"In my opinion, they're taking away my first amendment rights everywhere in my life," he says.

Rook takes exception with the fact that school sports have been allowed to continue, while the governor’s mandate puts a restriction on rec and club sports.

"Still allowing high school wrestling, where I can't think of any closer contact sport than wrestling," Rook says.

For his part, Conklin said he thinks parents and families should be in charge of whether or not to play.

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