Sunday Sports: Decisions on moderate and low-risk fall sports to come

Published: Sep. 13, 2020 at 6:38 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - On Friday, Section 3 announced their decision to move forward with a fall high school sports season for low and moderate risk sports. But the next few days will give more clarity as to if those sports will indeed happen not only at a sectional level, but a local level as well.

This week, both the Frontier League and Section 10 will decide whether or not to hold some version of a fall high school sports season for low and moderate risk sports with their school leaders and athletic directors gathering to make a final decision.

While there has been speculation about a deadline for a decision, New York State Public High School Athletic Association executive director Doctor Robert Zayas said on Wednesday night that’s not the case.

“There is no deadline and I know there’s an awful lot of rumors going around but our Section directors are doing an incredible job right now with their leadership and their own individual sections but I’m not aware of any deadlines that schools have to submit their declaration to play,” said Zayas.

One of those section directors is Carl Normandin, who oversees Section 10 which includes teams from St. Lawrence County.

Last week, Normandin told 7 News that school districts in Section 10 are considering a number of factors in coming to a final decision on whether or not to allow athletes to take to the field this fall.

“I think the districts are considering not only the health and safety, the readiness of players when it deals with interscholastic athletics, but also the financial piece. We all know that our districts are struggling at best for the financial end of things, so there’s gonna need to be some hard decisions made with regards to what we may be able to offer,” said Normandin.

That is the case for Watertown High School, which is a member of Section 3 for all sports except for football, where they are a member of Section 10.

Cyclones Athletic Director George Emrich says a number of factors will go into his districts decision of what to do and what to decide at this weeks meetings.

“It’s a combination of things. And one of the other factors that goes in is transportation. If the students are gonna be bused to practice they’re gonna have to 3 out of 5 days they’re gonna be coming from home so it’s possible that in a lot of schools, our’s included, that we might be looking to get some bus transportation to get students to practice,” said Emrich.

And with budget cuts to schools by the state, Zayas knows it will be a balancing act to try to provide sports for athletes not only in the fall, but for the entire 2020-21 high school sports season.

“When you talk about the budget cuts those school superintendents are doing, all they can to provide quality education programs for their students and then where they determine it to be feasible to provide athletic opportunities for their students as well," said Zayas.

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