YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The next step to return to live game action this fall for high school sports begins Monday for the OHSAA. Phase Two will see more players in the gym and action that looks much more like normal.
“I think the best thing about all of this is we are trending in the right direction,” says OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass. “In an open gym for basketball, it is probably the easiest to say, now they can play in that open gym. That is a big step forward because up until this point in contact sports, up until June 22nd, they haven’t been able to do that.”
Football is taking a step forward as well. Just like any year, no pads during this summer period, but teams will now be able to hold 7 on 7’s. But that doesn’t mean they will be doing it against other schools.
“7 on 7’s, okay I am going to get Fitch and they are all of a sudden going to play against Chaney. No, no, no. Fitch can have 7 on 7’s if they want amongst themselves,” Snodgrass says.
That is one of the bigger parts of Phase Two. All contact sports will look much more like normal for June, even wrestling which is allowing open mats again, just in their own bubbles.
“The doors are wide open for Fitch kids, at Fitch High School,” says Snodgrass. “The highest risk that the CDC recognizes for sports is taking a group from one geographic area and playing or competing with kids from another geographic area. That is one of the things prohibited right now.”
Snodgrass tells me that even though it has been a roller coaster ride, he is very proud of how member schools and leaders have handled the return to some sort of normal.
“Good things can come out of a crisis,” he said. “And one great thing that has come out of this crisis is how good our coaches and our school leaders have been to be responsible to get things back.”