Pittsburgh Public Schools says all teams will follow coronavirus guidelines

By: KDKA-TV’s Jennifer Borrasso

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Public Schools says high school winter sports are set to begin later this month.

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In a release on Monday, PPS said winter sports will begin on Jan. 25, two days before the return of in-person instruction for students in the district. The release says Superintendent Anthony Hamlet announced the return date of Jan. 25 after a recommendation from the District 8 Athletic Committee to postpone the start of winter sports until at least Feb. 1.

“As a lifelong athlete, I understand the desire to want to let students play. We also must keep the safety of our students and staff a top priority,” said Dr. Anthony Hamlet in a release. “A January 25th start date will allow enough flexibility in the schedule to ensure students have the opportunity to compete in City League Championship games and any follow-up state competitions. I want to thank the District 8 Committee for their thoughtful recommendations that continue to guide decision-making during this most unusual time for our sports program.”

PPS says all teams will follow coronavirus guidelines, and schedules will be available prior to the first day of practice.

“We are all in a funk, really,” said Pittsburgh Obama sophomore Ny’Asia Benton. “We all just love sports so much. And to not be able to play, there is nothing to really do.”

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Brashear boys basketball coach Carey White says teams will follow safety protocols, including temperature checks and masks.

“It’s basketball,” White said. “There is going to be contact, there is going to be not six feet apart. It’s not going to happen. We are hoping the protocols we follow will help mitigate some of the spread.”

Taylor Allderdice sophomore Alyssa Jacoby is not sure whether she will swim this year.

“You are breathing on each other the entire time,” Jacoby said. “The humidity, it’s going to make that stuff travel. So that’s a concern of mine and the main leading factor. I think that stuff could spread so quickly.”

“I would feel comfortable if she felt comfortable swimming but she doesn’t feel comfortable,” said Bill Jacoby.

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At this point, it’s unclear if spectators will be allowed. The first day of practice starts on Jan. 25.