When Gov. Mike DeWine announced the new target date for schools to stay closed all of April, it put the spring sports season in jeopardy, and it has area athletic directors planning on the possibility of a shortened season or no season at all.
Kalida’s Adam Huber said he is in limbo right now and like all coaches and athletic directors is awaiting for the next announcement from the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
“I don’t really want to speculate because nobody really knows and we don’t have a new timeline or anything like they sent out the last time as far as an acclimatization week or when you can start playing or knowing how long the season is going to be.”
Huber added that if they did begin the season he would expect them to primarily focus on league games and championships but reiterates because there is no timeline he can’t fully give a clear answer on what the future might hold.
Spencerville’s John Zerbe agreed with his counterpart and said coming up with a schedule would probably focus on a league schedule.
“At this point you try to look at if we go back early May looking at tournament time because I don’t know if we will have time for a league tournament or a league championship of some kind especially with the practice time and them being ready to play competition,” Zerbe said. “I think right now everything is so fluid that I am not sure anyone has a real good plan at this point.”
Zerbe added that speaking for himself one of the priorities is to play the teams in your league.
“You may not get a whole league schedule in but adapting it so you can at least play some of the teams that they are accustomed to playing on a yearly basis,” Zerbe said.
Huber said he has tried to keep in contact with his coaches throughout this ordeal but said it has been less and less as the lockdown has proceeded.
“It felt like things were changing every 10 minutes but with the lockdown for the last two and a half weeks it has been less frequently,” Huber said. “I do send them e-mails from the OHSAA and I do answer questions when they have them so we try to touch base a little bit but I haven’t had much to talk to them about lately.”
Zerbe is also in communicating with his coaching staff.
“I think right now you are encouraging coaches to communicate with athletes and maybe not just to workout but to keep their spirits up mentally and encouraging them.”
The one sport that will probably be hurt the most is track.
Zerbe points out that these individuals train for months and months and a limited track schedule would be tough and the aim might be to train for the district meet.
“I think most people say hey May first you can start on May second and the district meet is not until the twenty-first but you are talking months and months of training and kids that run multiple events and I think the last thing we want to do is put kids in harm’s way. We want them to have the job of competing but not the agony of injury.”
Huber and Zerbe are concerned that this lockdown could extend into the summer months, and Huber stressed that until there is an exact date everything is in limbo but remains positive that they will get some spring sports in.
“I have honestly no idea,” Huber said. “I’m an optimist and am hoping for a little bit of a spring season but I would like to see outside of a sports standpoint a more normal school and society as opposed to might happen with athletics down the road.”
Zerbe is also holding out hope that this will end sooner than later but is preparing for the possibility of it extending into the summer.
“I’ve already communicated to my coaches that to have a normal plan and a contingency plan and I think that has more to do with June and July because I think they don’t get those games in June and July, Zerbe said. “I can see a scenario where the first day of practice is August first where that is the first time those kids have been together all summer.
“Spring sports was a shock … and with fall sports it has become a reality.”