Banks, CORONAVIRUS, Sports

School sports halted by COVID-19

Photo: Chas Hundley

Coronavirus resources: CDC on the coronavirusOregon Health Authority resourcesWashington County resourcesOregonian reporting on the coronavirusOPB glossary of coronavirus termsNYTimes free reporting on the coronavirus

BANKS – With the news on Friday, March 13 that the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) has suspended all school contests and practices statewide, the spring school sports season has been thrown into disarray. 

On Wednesday, the softball and baseball seasons were slated to begin; but with the OSAA suspension — active through March 31, in line with a statewide school closure — halting all school activities, student athletes aren’t allowed to compete or practice. 

“As many of you are aware, all of our spring sports will be canceling practices and contests through April 1st. Nobody is to be on campus during this time off,” a statement from the Banks School District Facebook page read.

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For Banks athletes, track and field meets, golf competitions, and baseball and softball games all have been canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The OSAA said that baseball, softball, track & field, tennis, golf, band, orchestra, choir, solo music, and speech competitions during the suspension period would be impacted. 

Other school activities were hit by the closures and suspensions as well, including Banks’ equestrian team, and the Lady Braves Dance Team.

Oregon High School Equestrian Teams, Inc., the governing body for equestrian sports in Oregon high schools, said that while a number or regional meets were canceled or postponed, the fate of the organization’s State Meet, currently scheduled for May 7 – 10 in Redmond, Ore. would be decided on May 1. 

“Needless to say this is a terrible situation for all of our athletes,” said Ben Buchanan, assistant principal and athletic director for the Banks High School. “I feel terrible for seniors who didn’t get to finish out their winter seasons and the spring is still up in the air.”

Buchanan noted that students and coaches could have no contact during the suspension, and that they could not be on school properties to practice at all.

“During this suspension we will evaluate this evolving public health situation with the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Department of Education, the OSAA Executive Board, the OSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and member school administrators from throughout the state to determine when, or if, to resume the spring season,” said the OSAA in a press release

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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