Section II’s Western Athletic Conference schools will not compete this fall in soccer because of concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, while the Wasaren League has postponed all of its fall sports until next March.
Both leagues made their announcements Monday, as each opted to move sports into the “second fall season” that the New York State Public High School Athletic Association created last week in which teams in the “high” risk sports of football and volleyball were already scheduled to compete next March and April.
“The Superintendents agreed that the focus in September and October should be on the safe and healthy reopening of schools,” reads, in part, a statement issued from the Wasaren League.
Berlin, Cambridge, Greenwich, Hoosic Valley, Hoosick Falls, Mechanicville, Saratoga Central Catholic, Stillwater, Tamarac and Waterford-Halfmoon make up the Wasaren League. The WAC is made up of Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Canajoharie, Duanesburg, Fonda-Fultonville, Fort Plain, Galway, Mayfield, Mekeel, Middleburgh, Northville, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville and Schoharie.
Fall sports deemed as “low” and “moderate” risk are allowed to start practices next Monday, but the WAC is moving forward only with “low” risk sports for this fall, which includes cross country, golf and tennis for its member schools.
“The decision to focus on low-risk play was made with the health and safety of students, staff and our school communities as our primary concern,” reads a statement, in part, released Monday from the WAC. “In addition, logistical issues dealing with transportation, field maintenance, supervision and cleaning and disinfecting were taken into consideration.”
Later, the letter reads: “After reviewing various sets of guidance and weighing the risks and benefits each sport presents, it was determined this decision was the most reasonable way for our schools to provide athletic opportunities to our students without jeopardizing the safe return of students to their respective schools. This decision still allows all students a possible opportunity to participate in athletics during the school year. Finally, it allows each district to allocate as many resources as possible to ensure the reopening plans are being implemented with regard to the academic needs of our students.”
Last week, Bethlehem of the Suburban Council announced its decision not to compete in “moderate” risk sports this fall.