The PIAA has not done much right since the COVID-19 pandemic began, shutting down the conclusion of winter sports as well as the entire spring sports season.
However, it was a different story on Wednesday, when PIAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Lombardi said the beginning of fall sports season is on schedule as planned.
Therefore, unless a decision comes down from Gov. Tom Wolf, the Department of Health or the Department of Education, there will be scholastic sports in just about a month.
With health and safety plans put in place by schools across the state, athletes have been able to work out and prepare for their upcoming seasons.
“We are really looking forward to this year,” Berlin senior football player Will Spochart said. “Our senior class has been playing together for a while and we’ve been working out a few nights a week since our plan was approved and we all look really sharp.”
Spochart, a three-sport athlete who plays basketball and baseball as well, has already missed out on a potential state title trip in basketball as well as an entire baseball season. It would be heartbreaking to lose another season in his senior campaign.
“I think I can speak on behalf of the team and say we’d all be devastated not to have a season after all the hard work we’ve put in since it’s our last season together,” he said. “It hurts bad enough not knowing what our basketball season could’ve ended up like last year, so this season I’m really looking forward to playing with my teammates again. I eat, sleep and breathe sports, so with this being my last season in high school sports, I’m really looking forward to being able to play all three sports. This is what I’ve worked my whole life for and I would be absolutely devastated not to finish my last season of high school sports with my life-long friends.”
It was long overdue that the PIAA stepped out of Wolf’s shadow and made decisions based on what is best for the student-athletes.
There is going to be bumps along the way and unknowns, but the efforts put in place by the schools already will help alleviate some of those potential problems.
With some schools offering online learning to begin the year, the only time some student-athletes may see each other is with their teammates at practice or games.
Sports have been constant for some of these athletes their entire lives. To take the…