Sports Labeled “High Risk” to Commence in March

Sports Labeled

Jack Tirsch, Sports Editor, Junior

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its continued impact on the new school year, the upcoming JV and varsity sports fall seasons have been changed in New York State to accommodate the uncertainty that they hold. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has updated the 2020-2021 sports schedules by allowing “low-risk” fall sports to continue with their normal scheduling and postponing the “high-risk” fall sports by integrating them with the spring season. These higher-risk sports include football, volleyball, cheerleading, and girls swimming, asking that participants play in the spring instead of the usual timing from September to early November. 

In addition to these schedule changes, Pelham has hired a new athletic director, Christian Hodge, who assumed this position in the beginning of September. When asked about the protocols that PMHS athletes will have to take during their athletic seasons, Hodge said, “We will follow all CDC rules related to all sports. Each sport has specific guidelines that were given to all districts.” These guidelines include the athletes maintaining a 6-foot physical distance from one another, along with wearing a face mask if possible, cleaning their hands before and after games, practices, and not using shared equipment. Additionally, to ensure the team’s total safety, coaches are also put under the same guidelines, “Out-of-district coaches will need to provide a negative test result before they can begin coaching,” Hodge said.

While this altered sports season is not only new for the Athletic Director, the athletes at PMHS will be preparing to adapt to these anomalous circumstances as well. Senior varsity football quarterback Carlo Volpe was asked about his opinion on the COVID-19 protocols in place, “I believe we [student-athletes] should be tested more often and if the school could administer these tests that would be great. Most of my teammates that I have talked to wouldn’t mind being tested multiple times throughout the season if that’s what it takes to play and keep everyone safe.” Volpe said. Additionally, junior cheerleader, Katie Scott said, “I do feel pretty safe with the protocols that are going to be put into place. I know a lot of this season’s success is going to depend on our ability to uphold these protocols, but I am hopeful everyone is going to be respectful and proactive.” The new high-risk fall sports season will commence on March 1, 2021.