High School Sports On Schedule For Fall Season- AHSAA Releases Latest Update
MONTGOMERY- The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey set a date of June 1 for schools and its athletic programs to open for business, which means summer workouts for all athletic teams. In conjunction with the announcement, the AHSAA held a live television presentation concerning the latest developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and member school athletics.
Steve Savarese, executive director of the AHSAA hosted the event with the assistance of others including former Bob Jones and current Hazel Green girl’s head basketball coach Tim Miller. Savarese said, “The goal is to follow all guidelines set by the Alabama Dept. of Health as the action you will all take will mitigate the risks of the virus. Collectively over the next two months will determine competition possibilities for the fall sports. Our following the health guidelines is not just protecting our athletes, but our coaches as well.”
Savarese said there are three keys to reopening the schools and athletic programs:
- Maintain physical distancing with a six-foot circumference around every student-athlete
- Clean every piece of equipment before and after usage
- Wear face covering
“It’s not about winning championships, it’s about how to learn to live with the virus in an athletic educational environment,” stated Savarese during the television event broadcast on the AHSAA TV Network with WOTM-TV hosting.
Speaking to coaches and school administrators, Savarese added, “I encourage you to slowly acclimate your students to these department of health guidelines. Teach the students how to acclimate themselves to these guidelines. Accommodate students who may be uncomfortable with returning to workouts.”
Savarese asked for others to speak during the broadcast. Those included AHSAA Medical Advisory Board chairman Dr. James Robinson of Tuscaloosa, AHSAA Associate Executive Director Alvin Briggs and AHSADCA Director Jamie Lee. Also invited to speak via video conference were Hoover High head football coach Josh Niblett and Miller.
The head coach at Hazel Green High, Miller said, “We will provide masks for our players along with a water station with throw away cups. We’ll also clean every piece of equipment and immediate surroundings.” Miller added about off-season workouts. “We will ease into it and be creative in practice sessions and get things done we need to work on.”
Miller also spoke on how his team was nearly wiped out a couple years ago during a flu outbreak.
“We’re not back to normal. We’re learning new ways to coach,” said Savarese. “Right now, for what we have, everything is on as planned and I’m counting on each of our coaches across the state to practice these guidelines so we can have a normal fall activity.”