Due to the threat from COVID-19, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors suspended interscholastic athletics beginning at 11:59 p.m. today through April 6.
Pictured at the top of the article is the Highlands girls varsity soccer team shortly after hearing the news that interscholastic athletics have been suspended.
“As much as we would like this opportunity for our student-athletes, coaches, and their communities, we know that ultimately any decision we make must err on the side of caution,” said Commissioner Que Tucker.
The NCHSAA Board of Directors will assess this situation regularly over the next few weeks. This includes all workouts, skill development, practices, and contests.
The NCHSAA has also made the decision to postpone the 2020 Men’s and Women’s Basketball State Championships indefinitely.
Highlands Athletic Director Brett Lamb said the NCHSAA will have to set some guidelines for all the teams and conferences to follow moving forward. For a sport like track, Highlands would have 3 or 4 meets left if the suspension is lifted on April 6. With sports like soccer, it would be tougher with games being cancelled and having to play head to head competitions to determine a conference champion.
“The NCHSAA has the values of putting the safety of the student athletes first and foremost,” said Lamb. “So, I agree with their decision under the guidelines they set for our student athletes. I know that it is a tough maybe the toughest decision our board of directors has had to make but the wellbeing and safety comes first.”
Blue Ridge Early College Athletic Director Tim Mayse said spring sports will be salvageable if the ban doesn’t extend into May.
“The decision to suspend spring sports was a tough decision to be made,” said Mayse. “I understand why the state wants to be cautious concerning the issue at hand.”
He added it is especially tough on seniors.
“Memories to be made are currently at a loss,” said Mayse. “However, I would imagine everyone understands what’s at stake in the world and our area right now. Sports are extracurricular activities, and we can always come back to them when the time is right.”
Summit Charter School Athletic Director Jeremy Robinson said it’s difficult to predict how this will play out in terms of spring sports.
“If the suspension were to only last until April 6, we’d still have an opportunity to get some games in, but we haven’t had that discussion yet,” said Robinson. “The kids are really disappointed, they were looking forward to their spring sports seasons in golf, girl’s soccer, and track and field.”
Stay tuned to Plateau Daily News as more information becomes available.