Board allows fall sports to begin interscholastic competition

In a wrenching decision, the SDoL school board voted 7-2 to allow the district’s fall sports teams to continue practicing and begin competing with other schools.

In August, the board voted to allow fall sports to begin practicing, but deferred a decision on competition to the meeting on Sept. 8.

The board heard more than an hour of public comments—in person and online—from students and parents. Most favored playing, but a few commenters expressed concerns over COVID-19 spread.

“Most athletes have been diligent in their adherence to protocols,” said director Lois Strause. “The students have trusted that, if they’re responsible, they’ll reap the benefits of play. I think we have a responsibility to honor the trust and let them play.”

However, board members and superintendent Dr. Damaris Rau issued stern warnings to parents and students that they continue to abide by the protocols, especially when they are off the playing field.

Director Salina Almanzar cast one of the two “no” votes, questioning why canceling fall sports activities is the only other option to competition with other schools.

“I want us to try to be a little more creative in how we’re talking about this,” she said. “We might end up back here again.”

The first interscholastic competition for McCaskey is scheduled to be a girls tennis match at Manhiem Township on Sept. 11. The first football game is Sept. 18 against Elizabethtown. Other teams are scheduled to open their seasons the following week.