‘It’s better than nothing’ says athletic director on condensed high school sports decision

Local athletes, athletic directors speak out about VHSL's decision to have 3 condensed sports seasons for 2020-21 school year

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – The Virginia High School League (VHSL) has officially released its playbook for the 2020-21 school year.

All three sports seasons will be shorter and no one can start playing until mid-December.

Winter sports, including basketball, gymnastics, indoor track, swimming and wrestling will run from December 14 - February 20.

Fall sports, including football, cheerleading, cross country, field hockey, golf and volleyball last February 15 - May 1.

Finally, spring sports run April 12 - June 26 for baseball, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis and track and field.

Lord Botetourt athletic director Chuck Pound and Glenvar High School athletic director Richard McElwee said that’s the right call.

“At least we’re going to get to play,” said Pound.

“No sports are cut with this one here and I think that’s probably the most important thing,” said McElwee.

Lord Botetourt rising seniors and football players Nicholas Pitzer and Trey Reiter, who’ve been playing football since they were little, said they are happy to hit the field at all, but worry that fewer games means fewer chances to get recruited for a college scholarship.

“With a limited amount of games, I got to play better. That’s all I can do right now,” said Pitzer.

“I’ve been itching to play again. So, very fortunate,” said Reiter.

VHSL might still have to call an audible if there’s a surge in COVID-19 cases. Weather could also be a problem.

“How springs can be around here with a lot of rain and so we’re looking at probably lots of postponements, delays,” said Pound.

Nevertheless, players and coaches said they are taking this as a win.

“Whether it’s for the first time in high school or the last time in high school, it may not be what they imagined or were hoping for, but it’s better than nothing,” said Pound.

There are still a lot of unknowns, like whether or not fans can attend games, if playoffs will happen, and what happens if a player tests positive for COVID-19. Each individual school district can make up its own regulations that might limit where and how far players can travel for games.

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