High school athletes and coaches across the state hoped for the best, but prepared for the worst last week.
The best-case scenario came true, though, when Gov. Tom Wolf announced he was lifting the state’s most recent COVID-19 mitigation restrictions as planned and allowed high school sports teams to resume practice Monday, Jan. 4, for the winter season. That move allowed the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association to cancel its board of directors meeting scheduled for Jan. 6.
Instead, the board will now convene Jan. 27.
“There was really nothing to put on the agenda,” said PIAA president and District 2 chairman Frank Majikes. “The governor didn’t change anything other than keeping things status quo, and we restarted things Monday.”
Instead, the focus will shift to the local level when athletic directors from the Wyoming Valley Conference and Lackawanna League were scheduled to meet Thursday, Jan. 7, to iron out the District 2 winter sports season.
The primary topics will be the format for team championships in boys and girls basketball, team and individual championships in wrestling and the championship dates for swimming.
“We’re going to finalize our winter sports dates, talk about masks in each gym and our district and interdistrict games,” Majikes said.
The WVC is scheduled to begin the basketball regular season Jan. 14-15. The Lackawanna League tips off its league schedule Jan. 21-22. With the start time of the season pushed back, the dates for the district championships will need to be adjusted as well. The finals were scheduled for March 4-6 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Majikes said he met with representatives from the arena and will is waiting to hear back to determine if the tournament will be able to remain there this year.
“The (American Hockey League) is coming back, so obviously their schedule changes,” Majikes said. “They are waiting to hear from the (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) Penguins. They will call and see what we can do. It is still on board. I am going to have to get all the details and take it back to the (District 2) committee.”