BY YANEEK SMITH, BEACON CONTRIBUTOR
Could fall sports be moved to the spring or be cancelled altogether? We should find out the answer to those questions in about one month as Covid-19 continues to gain steam or begins to slow down.
Since June 14, there has been a steady increase of Covid-19 cases in Ohio, with there being 300 on that day and 1,525 on July 10. As of July 11, there have been 3,032 deaths and 62,856 cases in Ohio. To combat the virus, Gov. Mike DeWine has issued an order requiring people to wear masks in 12 counties.
Ottawa County is not on that list. However, nearby counties, Wood and Lorain, are among those where residents are ordered to wear a mask in public.
“The evidence is abundantly clear,” DeWine said in a recent interview with CNN. “Wearing a mask is one of the things that we can do that matters a lot. Social distancing, and the mask: You put those two things together, and we will make a big, big difference.
“We have spread in every county. And we strongly recommend that everybody who goes out in public, no matter what county they’re in in Ohio, that they should have a mask on.”
But Gov. DeWine does not feel that the entire state needs an order requiring them to wear masks.
“Frankly, we don’t have to have everybody (wear a mask),” he said. “But if we could get 80%, if we could get 80% of all Ohioans who would wear a mask out in public, keep the social distance, we’ll knock this thing down.”
During his press briefing last Thursday, the governor talked about his hope that fall sports will be played in August.
”What we’re aiming to do here is to have fall where we have kids back in school, have fall and do fall sports, have Friday night football. These are all things that we want to see and do,” DeWine said. ”What we do in the next 30 days or so is frankly going to determine how that all works out.”
Practices for fall sports normally typically begin on Aug. 1 with football opening play on the last weekend of the month.
The OHSAA, which plays a vital role in determining whether or not fall sports will be played, underwent a change in leadership as executive director Jerry Snodgrass was relieved of his duties last week. Snodgrass and has been replaced by Bob Goldring, who has spent the last 25 years working for the organization in a variety of roles.
The OHSAA senior director of communications, Tim Stried, said last week that, “the board of directors felt it necessary to go in a different direction with OHSAA leadership.”
“I am honored by the confidence the Board has placed in me,” Goldring said. “We have a solid team of knowledgeable and dedicated professionals at the OHSAA who are committed to serving our member schools. My top priorities are to prepare for return to play this fall and successfully lead the team until a permanent executive director is hired.”
According to the Canton Repository, the OHSAA lost approximately $2 million in revenue from having to cancel the winter sports postseason and spring sports altogether.