Massena negotiates obstacles to starting fall sports

Massena sports decision

MASSENA, N.Y. (WWNY) - For the Massena Red Raiders, a fall sports season for low- and moderate-risk sports would present a unique set of challenges.

Due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the Massena area at the start of the school year, school officials opted for remote learning for students until October 13.

But with practices set to begin on September 21, Massena athletes wouldn’t be able to take the field.

“You cannot start until you’re back at school, so we’re doing a hybrid method so we’ll have some kids in school and some kids out of school,” athletic director Gavin Regan said, “but we can’t start until we bring students back to school, so if we were to bring, for example, students back on campus on the 28th, we could start potentially sports on the 28th. If we don’t come back until the 13th of October, we can start the 13th, 14th of October.”

Regan says after teams got their required number of practices in mandated by the state, other schools potentially could have almost a month’s worth of games in, putting the Red Raiders in an ever-shorter fall sports season.

“Obviously we’d be at a little bit of a disadvantage because we can’t start when everybody else starts,” Regan said, “but we’re committed, Mr. Brady and I, we’re committed whatever amount of time the athletes will have, you know, we’re going to provide a season for them.”

The state had already announced that there would be no state playoffs for fall sports because of the condensed season and Regan says with that in mind, Massena could get a few extra weeks of games in, which could make up for a later start than other schools.

“This year, the fall sports, there’s basically, there’s not going to be any state tournament play, so we can kind of dictate what we want to do and what we don’t want to do so there could conceivably be some schools that have more games in than we have in at the end of the season,” Regan said, “but we’ll just adjust and do what we have to do but we’re committed to giving our athletes the opportunity to get on the field and to run.”

That means a season not only for varsity, but JV and modified teams as well, but Regan says the latter two could be subject to change depending on what other school districts decide to do.

“But right now, we’re committed to doing varsity, JV, and modified.,” Regan said, “I guess the, my hesitation on that is what the other schools are going to do here. I’m hearing, I’ve reached out to a number of athletic directors and there’s still some decisions to be made by schools whether they’re going to offer that, so we’re committed to offering modified but it might be on a limited schedule.”

Massena officials are trying to negotiate a number of obstacles in order to give their athletes a chance to participate in the fall sports season.

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