With January passed and February starting, winter school sports are effectively done with, and now the topic of fall sports has popped up. The School Board opted to not take part in winter sports largely due to concerns over the Coronavirus, and at last month’s meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michael Perry was on hand to bring the matter of fall sports to the forefront.
The problem, as Dr. Perry laid out, was that football practice starts on February 4 (so by the time this is published, that date has already passed) while practice for all other fall sports would take place on February 15, well before the School Board’s scheduled meeting this month on February 22.
“Coaches are split,” Dr. Perry explained. “Some feel that we need to offer more to our students because of what has been going on, so that our kids can socialize. At the same time though, they are wondering how you keep the equipment clean.”
The problems that were raised with winter sports were also still relevant, namely transportation, referee participation and conditioning.
“Our children have not had any conditioning whatsoever, and there are several school divisions surrounding us that have,” Dr. Perry continued. “As I spoke to our coaches and administrators, nobody had a strict idea of what we should or shouldn’t do, but they were all certain that they wanted to get conditioning done before anything else happened.”
What Dr. Perry was asking the board to do was allow for more time for the coaches and administrators to talk among themselves, eventually placing a recommendation before the board, rather than shutting down fall sports on the spot like had been done with winter sports in December. However, he stated that several more coaches were saying no to fall sports, due to concerns over spreading the virus.
“I think they need more time to talk, because I think they’re going to make the best decision. They have a lot of uncertainty and will probably just not do this. It also fits in with my viewpoint that if we can’t bring students in for instruction, then why should we push for athletics? They might not do football or volleyball, but they know they are going to have to do conditioning before anything, and if we wait too long, we’re going to lose a lot of that.”
While Dr. Perry recommended that the schools be given the option to begin conditioning for athletics, as well as the option to engage in or opt out of fall sports, the decision of whether to make preparations for the sports seasons was delegated to Dr. Perry by the board. It remains to be seen just what decision will be reached as at the time of this writing, there hasn’t been any statement on the status of the athletic teams. However, given the ongoing concerns about the Coronavirus, the chances don’t look good.