If the timetable works out, Waterville High School winter athletes will be back in the gym soon preparing for their season.
Short though it will be, Waterville’s winter seasons of boys and girls basketball and volleyball will take place if the Oneida County Department of Health approves the district’s plan.
At a special board meeting last week, WCS Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Spring and Athletic Director Bob Gray explained the detailed procedure to put high-risk sports in play this month. That night the plan was for review and approval by the county DOH in time for the next meeting Tuesday, Feb. 9.
But in an announcement the afternoon after last week’s meeting, Spring said the county guidelines require the district to make adjustments to the plan.
“This may delay the anticipated start date for sports, originally set for Wednesday, Feb. 10. This delay may be necessary to ensure that the district plan complies with these new guidelines,’’ her statement said.
“We understand the disappointment and stress these changes are creating for our student-athletes. As a district, we remain committed to getting our student-athletes on the court in as safe a manner as possible,’’ she concluded.
At the Feb. 9 meeting the Board of Education was scheduled to appoint winter coaches for the three varsity teams and boys junior varsity basketball. As of last week, not enough players had signed up for girls junior varsity basketball or jv volleyball.
Last week’s almost 90-minute special meeting discussed only sports, with up to 102 people watching through Facebook Live. People submitted questions to the board during the meeting.
The county has to give approval before anything can start. One of the requirements is approval by the district’s Board of Education for each sport, with proof of approval submitted. Board members did not vote last week.
Since the state said in late January high-risk winter sports could be played with approval of county health departments and each school district, schools have tried to figure out the best move. Some have said no to winter sports, others began practicing for games when allowed Feb. 1, and other districts are in counties where the positivity rate of Covid-19 is too high to allow high-risk activities.
At last week’s meeting Spring said while Oneida County said high-risk activity is ill-advised, the county did…