Watertown City School District tests the waters for some winter sports

WWNY Watertown City School District tests the waters for some winter sports

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Watertown City School District is preparing to start some winter sports next week and is hopeful to get life somewhat back to normal for students.

Watertown High School isn’t fully diving back into all sports, but it is testing the waters.

“On February 8, we will have varsity volleyball come back to practice and varsity boys and girls basketball come back to practice,” said George Emrich, athletic director.

And they’re going to do that safely by wearing masks, barring spectators, sanitizing shared equipment and waiting to compete until the county infection rate subsides.

“We won’t play games unless our average is below 4 percent in the county, but they’re just happy to be back at practice at this point,” said Emrich.

Boy’s swimming has already begun as a lower risk sport, but even that is still taking extra safety measures by competing in swim meets virtually for now.

“Each team will swim at their own pools and their times will be merged through a spreadsheet to determine competition,” said Patti LaBarr, district superintendent.

LaBarr says seeing sports come back at some capacity gives her hope for other extracurriculars to follow suit, like theater and performances.

“Our kids really need activities. It’s been almost a year that we’ve started with the pandemic. Kids have lost all sorts of opportunities,” she said.

The opportunity for other high-risk sports like wrestling, hockey and cheerleading are not lost, but are still under consideration.

“We’re just trying to be as flexible as possible and trying to be safe,” said Emrich.

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