‘We want it back so bad’: OHSAA cautiously optimistic as Ohio begins to reopen


"I am very hopeful and very optimistic, as long as we continue to be cautious on how we bring it back," said OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The OHSAA non-contact period for high school sports athletes was extended to June 1. As the state of Ohio slowly begins to reopen, Executive Director of the OHSAA Jerry Snodgrass and his team are keeping a close eye on the impact.

“We want it back, but not to sacrifice that we take a step back from it,” Snodgrass said. “So that is why these next couple weeks are so critical in terms of what those restrictions are going to be to open it up. And when I say I am cautious, I have to be because I don’t want us to take a step back.”

Snodgrass admits the days of sports being seasonal are long gone, and he knows student athletes are missing out on strength and conditioning training, which could lead to more injuries.

“I do not like the fact that July is considered the preseason, but it is,” Snodgrass said. “We have to be conscious that if there is not that preseason, we have to ease back into this. We aren’t even talking about the coronavirus, we are talking about the health and safety aspects of heart conditions, everything that athletes need to be ready for today’s rigorous activities.”

Snodgrass said he is beyond proud of what coaches and athletes have come up with to try to fill the void of the lack of training. But if things do take a step backward and our normal is delayed another month or two, the start of coaching on August 1 could look a little different.

“Right now, the five-day acclimation period that we have for football might be a little bit longer than that,” Snodgrass said. “We don’t have a required acclimation period for soccer, maybe we will — again, based upon that time leading up to it. So we all want it back, we want it back so bad. I am very hopeful and very optimistic, as long as we continue to be cautious on how we bring it back.”

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