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VPA Expects Unusual Fall Sports Season



The Vermont Principals Association is proceeding with a plan to resume high school sports this Fall, but it will likely be different from any season to come before it.

We spoke with VPA Associate Executive Director Bob Johnson this week, and here were some of the highlights:

– Fall sports teams were originally scheduled to begin practices on August 10th. That date will almost certainly be pushed back, meaning regular season play likely won’t begin before mid-September. Schedules will likely be picked up from the date play begins, so Johnson expects teams will play about 60-70% of their original schedules. As a result, the VPA plans to hold “open tournaments” for every Fall sport besides football, making the number of games a team has played irrelevant to postseason seeding.

– There is no firm policy as of yet on out-of-state competition, but the further the distance a team is expected to travel, the more potential issues it could cause. Johnson compared St. Johnsbury playing a game in Littleton, NH vs CVU’s Cross Country team competing at a meet in New Jersey.

– The VPA is unlikely to swap seasons. Proposals in Maine and New Hampshire to shift higher contact sports like football to the Spring and lower contact sports like baseball to the Fall have been discussed in Vermont as well, but haven’t gained much traction. Johnson pointed out a number of three-sport athletes would be negatively affected by changes, e.g. students who participate in both football and lacrosse.

– A lack of officials could cause problems. The VPA has seen declining numbers of officials in many sports, a problem that could become even worse should higher-risk individuals choose to sit out the Fall season. Teams might have to get creative about scheduling, and we could see a number of individual games canceled due to this lack of officials. Johnson does not expect whole seasons to be affected by this though.

– There are not firm protocols in place yet for how to handle a positive COVID-19 test, but Johnson speculated the infected individual’s entire team would also have to be tested, and there may be a quarantine period involved.

– The VPA will be prepared to shut everything down again should the health situation deteriorate. Johnson cited the fact that a few colleges have announced they won’t participate in sports until after January 1st (Bowdoin in Maine and Morehouse in Georgia the most notable examples to date), and while that is not the plan now, it is a possibility should the situation call for it later.

– The VPA is largely in “wait and see” mode. Johnson says they will monitor what happens with youth and recreational sports beginning their seasons on Wednesday, as well as the resumption of in-person instruction in August. Johnson acknowledged the desire to “get back to normal,” but said this is an unprecedented situation and that the VPA is “making things up as we go.”

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WFXR Sports Sitdown : Jermaine Ferrell talks sports with KLAS Sports Anchor/Reporter Kevaney Martin




ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Angels of Assisi has become very well-known in the Roanoke community, as well as nationally, for the work they do with rescuing animals in great need. Recently, Angels of Assisi came to the rescue of 20 dogs that their owner could no longer provide care for. Director of Community Engagement for Angels of Assisi, Kathleen Legg explains it wasn’t easy for their owner to give them up.

The dogs range in age from young puppies to full-grown adults and seem to be in good health; however, they will need further testing to know for sure.

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Riverside Sport Hall of Fame to move its induction banquet again – Press Enterprise




A lot of us would love to just skip 2020 entirely. The Riverside Sport Hall of Fame, as it turns out, has opted to do just that.

The organization’s induction of its latest class of inductees, originally scheduled for this past May and then postponed to a Nov. 2 date at the Riverside Convention Center, has been moved back again and is now scheduled to take place at that venue on Monday, May 17, 2021, Hall president Jerry Hurley said.

“I just get the sense that people are uncomfortable being in a room,” he said. “I know I’m uncomfortable being in a room with several hundred other people in a confined space. And our thought was, let’s continue to move it and do it up right. Hopefully by next May 17, all will be well in our country. No guarantee of that, certainly, but it just seemed like the prudent thing to do.”

So the class of ’20 will become the class of ’21. Olympic middle-distance runner (and former UC Riverside star) Brenda Martinez, local fast-pitch softball legend Bob Bomar, former Riverside Poly softball player (and Olympian, and later coach) Vanessa Czarnecki-Duhon, longtime high school coaches Rich Stalder (North) and Rich Graves (Poly) and California Baptist University president Ronald Ellis will receive their red jackets as the newest members of the Hall, swelling the membership to 111.

Additionally, Stan Morrison will receive the Chuck Kane Leadership Award, Ramona assistant principal and longtime area coach John Tibbels will receive the President’s Award, and UCR women’s basketball player Jannon Otto, who is a Type 1 diabetic, will receive the Inspirational Athlete of the Year award.

There was, Hurley confirmed, no thought of adding a second class of inductees, given the tradition — mandated by Kane, the late RCC president and the original leader and forever conscience of the Hall of Fame — that the program be over no later than 9 p.m. After all, if things are close to being back to normal by then, it will be a school night.

“There’d be lightning and thunder coming from the sky, from the cloud that Chuck inhabits right now,” Hurley cracked.

Hurley’s biggest regret was that the banquet’s annual parade of high school and college athletes will have skipped a class. In addition to everything else the Class of 2020 was denied this spring, their athletic achievers missed out on this; the events that caused seasons to be interrupted and canceled also distracted coaches and administrators from submitting their lists of athletes to be honored.

The high school and college Classes of 2021, if all goes well, will be a part of the program.

@Jim_Alexander on Twitter

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SDHSAA is preparing for a fall sports season




SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota High School Activities Association put forth their Summer Contact plan in late May, allowing athletes and coaches to get back in the weight room. Now the board is preparing for a return to live sports this fall.

“We’re cautiously optimistic and I think our state is in a decent place right now, because we aren’t seeing those spikes that are going on in other parts of the country. We’re kind of waiting to see what is going to happen over the next few weeks and then throughout the year we are going to have to be monitoring that,” SDHSAA Executive Director Daniel Swartos said.

The SDHSAA created the Coronavirus Task Force which consists of 20 educators including athletic directors and superintendents. The task force has been given the difficult task of building a safe return to sports plan.

“Our number one question is of course safety and is it safe to do this? Looking through what we have for fall sports and activities and seeing which of those are low contact or high contact and low risk to high risk,” Swartos said.

Football, competitive cheer and competitive dance are in the high contact range, while golf and tennis are in the low risk categories.

Contact Risk Sport
High Football
Competitive Cheer
Competitive Dance
Medium Volleyball
Low Golf
Cross Country
Contact spread risk chart for Fall Sports- via SDHSAA

Another idea created by the task force is to come up with a safe and efficient way to handle any positive cases that occur throughout the season.

“A standard screening procedure that all schools will use and a standard protocol for Department of Health close contacts in DOH confirmed tests and it gives a piece of mind, that if there is a confirmed close contact, if there is a confirmed case, that these are the procedures that go into place and these are the notifications that go around and everyone is on the same page,” Swartos said.

With the risk of a potential surge this fall, many state and nationals organizations have considered moving their fall sports. However, South Dakota will be looking for a different option.

“There are some states that are looking into maybe switching their spring and fall seasons. The worry with that is if you move track back to the fall, and then things go sideways here in the fall and you have to cancel it, now that’s two straight track seasons that have been canceled and that’s pretty tough for those kids,” Swartos said.

The SDHSAA understands that a potential surge this fall works out better than last spring’s surge, because it would happen early in the school year.

“We’ve got the whole school year to get these things in. If we decide to get everything started and there is some starts and stops in there, there is some shifting we can do with some of the winter and spring seasons, to finish out the fall season sports in the spring if we need to,” Swartos said.

While South Dakota waits to see what happens over the next month, they aren’t the only state playing the waiting game.

“I visit a lot with the director from North Dakota, the director from Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska and they are all kind of in the same boat that we’re at. They’re all cautiously optimistic about the fall and they’ll all be making those decisions around the same time as we are,” Swartos said.

Click below to learn more about the latest COVID-19 releases from other states:




While there are decisions left to be made by the board, the goal of the SDHSAA stays the same.

“Our goal and our mission as always is to get kids active and to get them active mentally and to get them active physically. So that’s what we are going to do and it’s going to be a strange year, there might be some stops during it, but we’re going to do what we can, when we can to give these kids as many experiences as we can give them,” Swartos said.

The first official fall practice is planned for August 5.

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