Pymatuning Valley will play only Ashtabula County teams for the 2020-21 school year, superintendent Christopher Edison confirmed Thursday.
“I notified the NAC [Northeastern Athletic Conference] this afternoon, and I talked to [NAC commissioner] Pat Giuliano,” Edison said. “I told him we had a meeting with the Ashtabula County Health Department [last week] to discuss the reopening of schools.
“I notified the NAC today to let them know that we’re not going to be competing out of county for regular season athletics for this entire school year. It’s not just for football season. It’s our fall, winter and spring sports. The goal is that if this is our best chance of having athletic competition for our kids then we gotta do it.”
Within the meeting with the health department last week, athletics was brought up.
“They [health department] were asking where we compete and I said, ‘Well, we have Trumbull County and we go right into Portage County, and then obviously Ashtabula County,’” Edison said. “They recommended that the best situation would be to try to play in county, especially with the coronavirus and the governor with his different levels and coloring systems.”
“It doesn’t make sense for us at PV to go from a yellow county to a red county when we could just stay in county and play as safe as possible.”
Edison said the option of playing only county schools has been in the thought process.
“We had our meeting last week, but it’s been in the back of my mind for a little while just knowing that we’re taking our kids to all these different schools and different counties to compete and that’s fine in a normal circumstance,” Edison said. “But I wasn’t OK that we were making all these changes to how we’re educating our students and we’re not making changes to how we’re competing with our athletics.”
As far as the revised schedule, Edison said, “Our goal for rescheduling games and getting games scheduled would be getting our athletic director Mrs. [Melody] Nowakowski working with other athletic directors to see if they have open dates that we could play.”
Edison is also committed to this change.
“Let’s hypothetically say there’s a vaccine and coronavirus is all gone and it’s November,” he said. “All right, then we’ll probably try to schedule some out of county games, but to go back to the NAC for the spring or winter for competition we’re not going to do that. Everything’s been so fluid and changing every single day. I would hate to do that to our athletic directors.”
NAC schools include Badger, Bloomfield, Bristol, Chalker, Lordstown, Maplewood, Mathews and Windham. Fairport Harbor is scheduled to join the conference as a full member in the 2020-21 season.
Chalker, Mathews, Windham, Fairport and PV sport football teams.