P.J. Prioleau is back for Radford High School this season after a knee injury knocked him out of the lineup last year, but he will have to wait till February 15 before he takes the field under a plan approved by the Virginia High School League.
VHSL Executive Director Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun said after the vote, “We all understand the physical and mental health benefits of getting our students back to a level of participation. The Condensed Interscholastic Plan leaves open the opportunity to play all sports in all three seasons if Virginia moves beyond Phase III and/or Phase III guidelines are revised and High Risk Activities are allowed.
“This plan also allows schools the opportunity to open the year and get school started and deal with issues such as schedules, academic plans, transportation and possible outbreaks of COVID in the school,” Haun said.
The three-season model sets up the following schedule:
Season 1 (winter) Dec. 14 – Feb. 20 (first contest date – Dec. 28) basketball, gymnastics, indoor track, swim/dive, wrestling.
“The VHSL will continue to work closely with the best available information and directives provided by the Governor, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).” Haun said.
He is optimistic that coaches, athletic directors and schools will be able to keep student-athletes engaged as we move forward.
In the mix, there is also the question of how VHSL will deal with playoffs and possible state championships. “I can’t give you an answer on that right now,” Haun said.
Current guidelines would set the maximum number of fans at 250 for each event. Haun said each individual school will have to monitor student athletes to watch for any COVID-19 incidents and will maintain their local protocols.