ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — High school coaches in the area are not ready to give up on the fall season.
The PIAA is asking Governor Tom Wolf and his administration to work with them and discuss fall sports. Until then, mandatory fall sports activities are on pause.READ MORE: Voter ID Is A Flashpoint In Pennsylvania Election Law Talks
Local coaches say sports are a hugely important part of students’ lives. They say while official activities are on hold, some preparation needs to continue even while the outcome is unknown.
“If we don’t have a season, that’s bad for the kids. I just think it’s bad for the kids and some communities do rely on high school football, especially in Western Pa.,” said Andrew Baker, Bishop Canevin defensive coordinator.
The PIAA’s decision means mandatory activities are on hold until Aug. 24. Voluntary practices are acceptable.
“We still go up there, we lift, we condition, we’re preparing for our camp,” said Jeannette football coach Roy Hall.
Gateway football coach Don Holl says he knows the PIAA understands the unintended consequences of canceling sports.
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- Former WPIAL Executive Director Says Canceling Fall Sports Would Have Far-Reaching Impacts
- Wolf Administration Recommends Postponing High School Sports And Recreational Youth Sports Until 2021
- WPIAL ‘Not Prepared’ For Gov. Wolf’s Comment Suggesting Schools Starting Online Should Cancel Fall Sports
- School Districts Across Region Approving A Variety Of Return-To-School Plans
- WPIAL Pushes Back Start Dates Of Fall Sports
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- Guidance From Gov. Wolf Allows High School And Recreational Sports Teams In ‘Yellow’ And ‘Green’ Counties To Resume Voluntary Workouts
“They referenced just how important sports are in the fabric of life to these young people, the mental health, the physical health, the emotional health,” Holl said.
Coach Holl says his school and others have put a lot of effort into their health and safety plans. Since July, he says no one has gotten sick.
“Thankfully, we have had zero here at Gateway,” Holl said. “We’ve had many kids working out in a variety of sports. We’ve been very fortunate.”
The PIAA plans to talk with the governor, state Department of Health and lawmakers before it meets again on Aug. 21.
“Before they say no, we won’t do it at all,” said Clairton football coach Wayne Wade. “Give it a shot, give it a chance.”
The WPIAL would not comment Friday, instead, saying it respectfully requests time to digest all information and develop an approach before responding. They are holding a press conference Monday.MORE NEWS: Pa. Drops COVID-19 Vaccine Map, Encourages Use Of Federal Map
Coach Holl and others say they hope communities and legislators also reach out to the PIAA and the governor.