WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–Schools across the State of North Carolina are awaiting word on whether or not students will return this fall. The decision has slowed down the process as student-athletes look to return to play.
As the weeks go by the time gets shorter for high school athletes with the first official day of fall practice set to begin on August 1st. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association held a briefing on Wednesday saying they have not made a decision on fall athletics at this time. They say it will ultimately come down to Governor Roy Cooper’s announcement on schools in the coming weeks.
“Unless he feels that conditions will allow students to return to some form of in person learning safely, it is difficult to imagine that high school athletics will be able to resume any type of competition at our member schools,”says NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker.
Schools in the Cape Fear hope that announcement from the state comes sooner rather than later, but they know this is a fluid situation.
“Time is getting tight. We definitely want to know, but we understand that this is such an evolving situation,”says Hoggard Athletic Director Brad Lewis. “We understand that this is something nobody’s ever thought of. So, as you work through those things we know it’s gonna take some time to make sure you’re making the best decision you can with as much information as you have.”
The best case scenario at this point for athletic department would be full in person classes, which ultimately allow for sports to return to the “new normal”.
“How likely that is right now in the state of things is not looking great, but that’s the best case scenario,”says Lewis. “That’s what we’re going to strive to get to. It may not look exactly like it has looked in years past.”
On multiple occasions during the briefing the NCHSAA urged that they plan to do everything in their power to have student-athletes back to competition this fall.
“We promise that we will do the best we can to offer students an opportunity to get on the field and play the games that they enjoy and love,”said Tucker.
The NCHSAA says they hope to have a decision on fall sports in the coming weeks. Although it will eventually come down to when Gov. Cooper addresses the plan for 2020-2021 school year.