FARGO -- For one week, high school wrestling teams across North Dakota got to hit the mats again.
On November 13th, that changed, with high school sports being paused by Gov. Doug Burgum as part of an executive order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"We thought we were going to be out until December 14th, so we kind of felt that one letdown," said West Fargo co-head coach Dale Spilman. "For a lot of our kids, they already know that feeling."
They're back in the gyms now, but change is something they will have to get used to.
The schedules this year will be limited to just dual and triangular meets. Gone are the larger tournaments, such as the Rumble on the Red held at the Fargodome, or the Grand Forks Sertoma Wrestling Tournament.
"I look forward to those tournaments," said Packer sophomore Tyler Porter. "Wide range of competition, makes us better. It helps me and the team grow. It does bring the excitement down."
"The road trips over night, that's a big bonding experience, and we have several where our JV goes," said Grand Forks Central coach Jeff Welsh.
That also means valuable matches against teams from Minnesota and western North Dakota are also not going happen.
"We get to wrestle a little more this time of year out of state and some Class A guys and just get the kids some competition we always won't hurt them," said Lisbon coach Rich Lacina.
There's still a chance to compete, however. Meets will still go on, and the thought of the tournaments returning inspire wrestlers this season.
"It kind of drives a fire in to work harder as a team," Porter said.
"We were real nervous about losing the sport and we don't want that," Lacina said. "We'll do whatever it takes to be safe so the kids can compete."
Teams aren't required to have wrestlers wear masks, but programs like West Fargo and Grand Forks Central are having them wear masks during practices.
Changes will still come as the year goes on, but those are punches that coaches and wrestlers are ready to roll with.
"We have to realize that we might not be able to get the same level of conditioning or same level of live wrestling that we've been able to do in the past," Welsh said. "Our goal is to be able to get to the next meet and the next meet and then hopefully region and state."