We find ourselves in a terrible situation. We have had meetings with our board of directors and all the other communities. We have sent out 5 messages/updates to all the families since the start of lockdowns. We have had several conversations with Pony Baseball and ASA Softball, and countless conversations with the school district in efforts to make the 2020 season work. However, we find ourselves in the bottom of the 9th with two outs.
Our last conversation with the school board brought us to a new Re-Socialization of Athletics Procedures plan. This is a plan with recommendations from the State, CDC, Department of Health, National Federation of High Schools along with the PIAA. The plan consists of a 3-tier system to return to practicing and eventually playing games with safety as the top priority. Highlands School District has joined in with the other school districts in our surrounding area to adopt this plan. The tier we are currently in is Tier-1. The first hurdle is the “gathering events” and it states that athletes, coaches, officials, and staff are the only people allowed. Spectators will not be permitted. This along with the School’s announcement that “Highlands School District remains closed through August 1st.”, is a tough blow. Softball and baseball games were set to begin by mid-July, which we would not be able to participate in.
We completely understand and respect the Highlands School District concerns and decisions, and they have gone the extra mile to try and help our season happen for the community in this time of complete uncertainty. Other communities that do not play on school grounds are able to move forward with their seasons.
I, along with the Board of NHBSA, hope for a change in the situation so that Highlands School Fall sports are able to be played and the players and families have memories of not just the season but what the challenges they had to endure from Covid-19. I also hope with time and good results, it allows RYFO to get their season in safely and the football players and cheerleaders feel a sense of getting back to normal.
I personally, along with the entire Board of Directors of NHBSA am truly sorry to say that we will be putting a plan in place to contact everyone to receive refunds as we will not be having a season in 2020.
We want to thank the Highlands School District for their efforts but remaining focused on the health of our community.
Gary Meanor, President and the entire NHBSA Board