Winter sports at Shadyside get go ahead

SHADYSIDE – With the Ohio High School Athletic Association announcing Wednesday it would move forward with winter sports, as scheduled, the Shadyside Board of Education followed suit in its monthly meeting.

With Superintendent John Haswell’s blessing, the board of education unanimously agreed to allow Tiger athletes to begin practice, effective today, for boys and girls basketball and wrestling.

“I had been waiting on an answer from the OHSAA and if they’re not going to pause, then we need to allow our kids the chance to move forward,” Haswell said.

Shadyside competed two weeks ago in the volleyball regional tournament and football regional championship game. Since it lost in both contests, the Tigers’ athletics have been suspended because of a shift to remote learning in the district due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases.

“We have two athletes and one coach in our girls basketball program affected, one wrestler is affected and just one boys basketball player in quarantine,” Haswell said.

Haswell asked the board for its input or thoughts on moving forward.

Board member Tom Brown said, “I want us to be as normal as we possibly can be, but be safe while we’re doing it. These kids have given up so much, let’s allow them to keep practicing as long as it’s safe.”

Brown also believes that the Tigers’ winter sports coaches should point out to their athletes about remaining vigilant to guard against COVID-19 exposure.

“I would stress to the kids that your season is on the line if you get too far out of your group,” Brown said.

Shadyside is able to resume, but will be required to do so with similar measures that have been in place since the OHSAA permitted summer conditioning to begin in late May.

“As long as we can practice safely, I think we should resume,” Haswell said. “There’s a big difference in bringing 15 people together than some of the larger groups. I expect our coaches to continue with the medical checks and temperature checks like they have been doing.”

Haswell, who spent more than a decade as the Tigers head wrestling coach, expressed deep concern on how wrestling was going to be handled.

“I don’t know how we pull off wrestling in Ohio,” Haswell said. “It’s as intense and close of contact as you can have.”

Director of Athletics John Triveri pointed out to the board that the OHSAA has instituted what’s believed to be a new policy for student-athletes who test positive for COVID-19.

Each student – whether asymptomatic or symptomatic – is required to be cleared by a medical professional before he or she can resume practice and/or play. The OHSAA actually supplied the membership a form it can have its student-athletes take to their physician.

“We had no positive cases in the fall, but we have three female players who can not practice until they bring that report from their doctor back,” Triveri said.

Triveri indicated that the girls games against Martins Ferry and Frontier, which were scheduled for Friday and Monday, respectively, have been postponed due to COVID-related issues.

On top of that, the girls’ schedule could possibly see a makeover with six games lost because of West Virginia’s delayed season until Jan. 11. The boys’ schedule, which is expected to now begin on time, will lose only one and maybe two games due to the Mountain State delay.

Triveri also informed the board that the governor’s limited attendance policy remains in effect.

“We’ll have 15 percent of our capacity, which is somewhere between 60 and 70 (people) on the home side and 50 and 60 on the visitor side,” Triveri said.

As for the wrestling schedule, Triveri said the Shadyside Wrestling Invitational, slated for Jan. 9, has been canceled. A four-team event might be scheduled in February.

“We’re attending less larger (tournaments) in wrestling than we normally would,” Triveri said.

Also, Shadyside will not have its cheerleaders travel to away boys basketball games, nor will it have visiting teams bring their cheering squads.

Shadyside hopes to be back to in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 30.


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