Edgewood Athletic Administrator Steve Kray on Friday released a statement announcing Edgewood would delay the start of mandatory practice until at least Aug. 15.
“We do not feel comfortable starting under the direction we have been led,” Kray wrote on the www.ehsathletics.org website. “A great deal of thought has come in the making of this decision but, the one thing that has remained consistent is the safety and well being of my staff, our students and this Buckeye community.”
Optional workouts will proceed, as the school plans to continue operating at Phase 3 until further notice “with the hope of starting mandatory practices on Aug. 15 unless additional details are presented to us.”
“We were hoping [yesterday] or [today] to get some direction from the Ohio High School [Athletic Association] besides from what we’ve already received, which is really go forth and start practicing,” Kray told the Star Beacon. “We’re just not ready for that I don’t think.”
Kray cancelled the Karl Pearson Invitational golf tournament that was scheduled for Wednesday.
“We will not be competing until after the 15,” Kray said. “At this point, the matches that were scheduled [before Aug. 15] in golf and tennis, we’re just gonna try to postpone them until maybe in September or even later into October.”
Non-contact sports have had the fewest restrictions from the OHSAA and Gov. Mike DeWine’s office, but the idea of playing opposing schools is not something Kray’s currently comfortable with.
“You bring in these non-contact sports, and they say it’s good to have them, and you can do those things, but we’re bringing in teams from 10 or 12 schools,” Kray said. “You bring them all together in one spot … it just doesn’t seem like a real good idea.”
Friday’s announcement came after talking with Edgewood’s fall sports head coaches.
“I’ve been in constant communication with my head coaches throughout this whole process, especially the last week,” Kray said. “I think we’ve been on two or three Google Meet meetings. We’ve talked on the phone. I talked to them again today, and I wanted to get their opinion before I made a call to [Buckeye Local Superintendent] Mr. [Pat] Colucci.”
Kray cited Edgewood’s current plan dedicated to remote learning until November
“We’re not planning on going back to school face-to-face until November so it’s very difficult for us to justify that if we’re not going to go to school to November, but I’m going to bring in kids to work out in a gym five days a week we’re kind of setting a double standard,” Kray said.
His reasoning for the Aug. 15 timetable was related to Edgewood football team’s scheduled season opener against Conneaut on Aug. 27.
“The reason I chose the 15th was: A.) because it’s two weeks from (tomorrow] so that’ll still give us the 10 mandatory days before they play Conneaut so that’s not gonna be effected if we are allowed to play contact sports by then,” Kray said. “At this point, the best decision for us to make was what we did. Hopefully, we can move forward and get these guys ready on the 15th and get started.”
The process of playing after Aug. 15 largely depends on mandates from the OHSAA, the governor as well as school districts.
“We need to evaluate what happens,” Kray said. “Every new time you watch the news something new comes out from our governor … Everything seems to change so frequently. I think most athletic directors in Ohio and Northeast Ohio are just looking for some better direction on where we are to go from here.”
Meanwhile, the OHSAA released a memo on Friday stating, “fall sports of girls tennis, girls and boys golf, field hockey, girls and boys soccer, girls and boys cross country, volleyball and football officially begin practice Saturday, August 1.
“Earlier Friday, the OHSAA Board of Directors reaffirmed their position that the OHSAA fall sports seasons will go forward as planned. While all fall sports can practice, contests between schools in the sports of golf, tennis and volleyball have been approved by Governor Mike DeWine. The OHSAA continues to work with the Governor’s Office toward approval of contests in cross country, field hockey, soccer and football.”
The release also states:
• If contact sports are not approved for school vs. school competition by Friday, September 4, fall contact sports and remaining winter and spring sports will move to a condensed schedule that will take place between mid-December and the end of June. Fall non-contact sports would move forward as scheduled.
• If the fall seasons begin and, for some reason, are stopped but then resume, the OHSAA has plans to move to a modified fall sports season.
• If contact sports are approved for school vs. school competition, the OHSAA is prepared to set COVID-19-related requirements for schools to follow for competitions as requested by the Governor’s Office. The OHSAA will govern and issue consequences for the violation of these requirements as prescribed in OHSAA Bylaw 11, Penalties.
• Conversations with the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health continue regarding the status of field hockey and/or cross country being placed into the low/non-contact category. The membership will be updated if that changes for either or both sports.