BOSTON (CBS) – The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Board of Directors voted Tuesday afternoon to start high school fall sports on Monday, September 14. That’s as long as state education guidelines for reopening schools allow for that when they’re released later this summer.
The MIAA’s COVID-19 Task Force recommended to the board that the start of the fall season be delayed until September 14.READ MORE: Massachusetts Reopening Plan: COVID Restrictions Loosen Monday, Including Restaurant Capacity
MIAA Board of Directors just voted to start high school fall sports Sept. 14th…as long as state education guidelines for reopening schools allow for that when they are released later. #wbz pic.twitter.com/SvCcI2xzBj
— Christina Hager (@HagerWBZ) July 21, 2020
The plan still needs to be approved by the state and Governor Charlie Baker. The MIAA will reconvene three days after the state puts out it’s guidance for schools to decide on details, including which sports are safe to go ahead with.
High School athletes, especially seniors, have a lot riding on the decisions that will follow.
“I just want to go out there and play for the last time with all these kids that I’ve been playing with my whole life,” said Holliston High School defensive tackle Zack Athy. He started talking with recruiting college coaches last year. “This is a big season for me, and everyone just wants to play at the next level,” he said.READ MORE: 'In Like A Lion': March Weather Brings Drastic Swing In Temperatures This Week
“I really hope that even if there is compromise, or adjustments, or adaptations, I do hope we give the athletes of Massachusetts the opportunity to be on the field in the fall,” said Ainslee Lamb who runs a field hockey camp for high school athletes called 3Step Sports.
“I’ve always been looking forward to my senior year ever since freshman year,” said Wellesley High School field hockey player Grace Donahue, who’s already committed to the College of the Holy Cross in 2021. “I’m just really glad they decided to postpone it and not cancel it completely.”
WBZ-TV’s Kristina Rex reports
Back on July 6, Baker released guidelines for youth sports this summer. Youth football, lacrosse and soccer leagues are not yet allowed to play games. But, sports with less contact, such as baseball, are able to hold practices and games, just not tournaments.
“A lot of uncertainty. Nobody really knows what’s happening,” said AJ Heidtke of Andover. He has two college offers going into his senior year football season. “It’s kind of like what you look forward to growing up, senior year of football. That’s the big dream so losing it is a little tough.”
Jessica Bresnick is the captain of Andover’s cheer team. Competitive cheer, like football, is considered a high-risk sport for Covid-19 transmission. She is training with the team for game day, but worries competition season could take a tumble.
“It’s going to be really hard to have competition season because we are all so close together all the time but I really hope we have one,” Bresnick said. “It’s one of my favorite parts of cheer-leading so I will really miss it if we don’t have a comp season.”MORE NEWS: South Attleboro MBTA Station Closes Due To 'Deteriorating' Pedestrian Bridge
It’s not clear yet how those guidelines will affect high school sports this fall during the coronavirus pandemic.