Teutopolis was supposed to host St. Joseph-Ogden for a volleyball match Thursday night. But after the Unit 50 school board failed to enforce the state mask mandate, St. Joseph-Ogden officials decided to have the Lady Shoes come to their school — wearing masks.

Tonight’s match was originally supposed to be Teutopolis’ first home match of the season.

For St. Joseph Ogden Superintendent Brian Brooks, he said the move was to protect his community.

“First and foremost, we 100 percent respect Teutopolis’ decision. It has nothing to do with that,” Brooks said. “Going into this school year, when we decided to follow the mask mandate, we met administratively and decided that we probably needed to follow that no matter where we go. If we go to a school and there’s somebody on our schedule that’s not doing it, our concern was sending mixed messages to our community.

“Our main focus is just on keeping the kids in school every day. They have to wear masks, and right now, we’re wearing masks. We didn’t want to create mixed messages. Unfortunately, the kids are caught in the middle, and this decision is way above all of us.”

Lady Shoes’ head volleyball coach Tim Mills said he didn’t know much about the decision. However, he did note that the decision to play in Teutopolis will be on a day-by-day basis for the time being.

The Lady Shoes’ next home match, at JH Griffin Gym, is scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m. against Sullivan.

Mills, who doesn’t live in the school district, said he respects the Teutopolis school board’s position.

“What T-Town chooses to do, that’s on them,” Mills said. “Whether they do or don’t is really irrelevant to me. I’m just an employee of the school district.”

Contact EDN Sports Editor Alex Wallner at 217-347-7151 ext. 124 or alex.wallner@effinghamdailynews.com

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