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Thursday, May. 28, 2020

Random Thoughts: Sports vs. COVID-19

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Random Thoughts center around a new spring sports timeline, a possible delay involving fall sports, no sports in general, a very different August/September schedule and our first upcoming features.

New timeline

As expected, Governor Mike DeWine announced on Monday that he’s extending the shutdown of Ohio schools to May 1, due to a daily increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Schools were scheduled to re-open on Monday, April 6, and practices for spring sports were set to resume the same day, with games, tennis matches and track meets starting on Saturday, April 11.

That timeline is out the window now, and the Ohio High School Athletic Association will send an adjusted spring sports timeline to schools.

It’ll be interesting to see what new timeline is, but if schools do indeed re-open on May 1, it’s a certainty that the spring sports season will be a significantly abbreviated one.

For the majority of players, coaches and fans, that’s better than nothing.

Spring and fall sports

I’m still trying to remain optimistic about spring sports in Ohio, but it’s not a good sign when the Ohio High School Athletic Association is already looking at what to do if COVID-19 delays the fall sports season.

OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass told WCPO-TV in Cincinnati that they’re starting to plan.

“We’re starting to look at what if we are delayed in football?” Snodgrass asked. “What if we are delayed in our fall sports? Cross country (is) one of the earliest starts.”

Aug. 1 is the official start of practice for cross country, field hockey, football, golf, soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball.

“It’s difficult for us too to have one sport – I guess you can say all you want in cross country there is social distancing because you outrace the other person – but it’s pretty difficult to have one sport and not have the other,” Snodgrass said. “I know that people challenge that a little bit but we are looking at now fall. We’re starting to plan.”

It’s nice to have contingency plans, but let’s hope whatever they have in mind isn’t necessary.

Starting to feel it

Not sure why it took so long, but it finally and truly hit me over the weekend – no sports.

No baseball, no NCAA or NBA basketball, no golf.

I know – there are much worse things going on in the world right now, but it’s still a tough time to be a sports fan.

Very different

Barring any more changes, it’ll be quite an August and September, starting with the rescheduled Indianapolis 500 on August 23, the start of college football on August 29, the Kentucky Derby on September 5 and the 2020 NFL kickoff on September 10.

That has to be one of the oddest sports schedules in history.

Upcoming features

Until we’re told otherwise, we’ll plan for spring sports and in April we’ll preview local baseball, softball and track and field teams, along with Van Wert tennis.

In the coming days, we’ll also share features on Van Wert’s three time state qualifying wrestler Gabe Steyer and Parkway’s first ever regional boys’ basketball team.

More feature stories will follow and we hope you enjoy them.

If you have thoughts on any of the above subjects, feel free to email me at sports@thevwindependent.com.

POSTED: 03/31/20 at 3:49 am. FILED UNDER: Sports