It’s been a long haul but I am pleased to announce that fall sports are here!! Having taken just about a half of a year off from competitive athletics has been exceptionally difficult for athletes, coaches, officials, parents and families and fans alike. The decision to move forward was announced last evening by Section X Director Carl Normandin. This topic has been deliberated over and scrutinized for many weeks as school districts worked through an abundance of details. As was stated by Tupper Lake District Superintendent and NYSPHSAA Vice President Mr. Russell Bartlett, “We only have one opportunity to get this right”. I feel that the plan which we have in place will do just that. This will only occur with the combined efforts of those from every community.
In the coming days the details of that plan will be released. Fans of athletics will no longer be able to simply show up for a soccer game or cross country meet. Strict guidelines will be put in place which will be in accordance with the New York State Department of Health Regulations, The Governor’s Directive and Guidelines put out by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. Spectators will be limited to ensure that we adhere to the standard for large group gatherings. Each school district is currently developing their plans to be shared as soon as we are able to do so.
The sport of soccer will begin this coming Monday with practice sessions being held for varsity athletes from 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm on the athletic fields. The Modified and JV seasons will begin one week later on Monday, September 28. JV’s will practice daily from 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm and the modified teams will come in later in the evening from 5:30 pm until 7:00 pm. The decision was made to have the modified teams practice later to make it more convenient on parents with regards to transportation since many students are not in school everyday. It also works to ensure a smaller population at the school and therefore comply with appropriate social-distancing from the other practice fields. At this time the varsity soccer teams can expect a 12 game season. The JV and modified seasons have been reduced to a 6 game schedule. All schedules are to be determined so please do not rely on the current online calendar. It will be revised very soon.
Varsity Cross Country will begin this coming Monday, September 21 at 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm as both boys and girls teams will meet with the coaches next to the track. The modified runners will begin one week later on Monday, September 28 at the track opposite from the varsity meeting location. Varsity teams will have a reduced schedule which today looks to be a six meet schedule with the possibility of a culminating event in mid-November. As was mentioned with soccer, the current meet schedule online is not accurate and will be revised as soon as possible.
For those students wishing to participate in one these two sports please sign up online as soon as possible. Evidence of a physical exam must be on file with the district prior to participation. An individual’s physical exam from last fall is sufficient per a directive released earlier this summer. Students will now have the opportunity to participate in one sport each of the four seasons. The winter season is slated to begin on November 30th. What is being referred to as “Fall 2” season is schedule to begin on March 1 and end before April 19. The “Fall 2” sports would include girls swimming, football and volleyball. The spring season start date has been revised and will begin on April 19.
It is important that we all work together to ensure that our seasons progress safely and in accordance with all regulations so that our athletes can continue to participate throughout the fall. We will attempt to stream home events if possible and will put out additional information when and if it is determined that we are able to do so.
I want to thank Carl Normandin and Rhonda Smith at the Section Office, our local State COVID Task Force representatives Russell Bartlett and Paul Harrica, as well as, all of the Section X Athletic Directors and Superintendents. Given the enormous obstacles, the ever-changing landscape and challenges to keep communities safe has been a huge undertaking with more work ahead. The ability to play once again is very much appreciated!!
Be well everyone and GO BEARS!!
William Porter, C. C. S. Director of Athletics