Uncertainty surrounds spring sports re-start date

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Just when things appear to be getting better, they get worse.

On Thursday, March 12, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced the suspension of all high school athletics through Monday, April 6. Some schools systems had closed, while others remained open.

By Saturday, March 14, schools across North Carolina closed doors, as Governor Roy Cooper ordered the closing of schools through Monday, March 30.

“As an athletic department, we totally support the state’s decision to not have athletics during this time,” said Person High School athletic director Jeremy Clayton. “The state can suspend athletics as long as they have to.”

If athletics proceed as scheduled, Roxboro Community School is busy at the conclusion of the break.

“We have plenty of games scheduled for April 6 and 7,” said RCS athletic director Melinda Goodson. The Bulldogs men’s tennis and softball teams play on April 6, while RCS’ men’s golf, JV baseball, middle school lacrosse, baseball, and softball all resume action on April 7. “We are missing sports because they are productive for our student-athletes.”

The scheduled resumption of sports on April 6 is not a guaranteed date.

“We are also told that moving forward from that date, sports could be pushed back even later,” said Clayton.

Regardless of when sports restart, Goodson hopes Bulldog athletes ease back into game action.

“I would hope they could at least practice 4-5 days,” said Goodson. “It’s a good idea to warm up before jumping back into the playing schedule.”

When sporting events resume, non-conference games leave the picture.

“With our in-conference games, we’ll talk with other athletic directors within our conference,” said Clayton. “We’ll all figure out what we might want to do.”

Extending the season past typical end dates is another solution.

“I tell our coaches that if we’re able to resume, maybe look into extending the season,” said Goodson. “Especially for our seniors – we just don’t know what is going to happen.”

Goodson is extra-hopeful the season resumes.

“My daughter, Karrie Obie, plays middle school softball for the Bulldogs,” said Goodson. “I am going to take the optimistic route.”

Clayton is hopeful for postseason play, too, but that is up to the NCHSAA.

“We’ll have to wait on the state’s decision,” said Clayton. “Maybe after a couple weeks of no school and athletics, they’ll have a better grasp. Hopefully, we can pick up where it left off.”

The possibility of postseason play, however, looks bleak.

“One thing I last heard is that it wasn’t going to be played,” said Goodson. “All you can do is try to figure out what options are there. The NCHSAA will send AD’s things to vote on.”

The potential for student-athletes gaining an extra year of eligibility seems unlikely.

“There’s a rule in place, if you’re 19 on August 31, you’re too old,” said Clayton.

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