By Terry Toohey
It’s looking more and more like the fall high school sports season is going to start later than usual thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Penncrest High School pushed the start of its fall in-season practices back to Aug. 24 for safety, the school announced on Twitter Tuesday. That includes the heat acclimation week for football.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” athletic director Chip Olinger said.
Olinger has asked the school board to extend its OTA health plan/practices through Aug. 23. It is supposed to end Sunday. He said the board is expected to vote on that issue Thursday and make a determination on fall sports on Aug. 20.
Under PIAA regulations, teams must have three full weeks of practice before competition can begin. That means the earliest games can begin for Penncrest is Friday, Sept. 11.
Last week the PIAA announced that it was moving forward with fall sports as scheduled but gave individual schools the option for alternative or hybrid starts. The decision by Penncrest would fall into the hybrid category.
According to the PIAA calendar, football is allowed to start Aug. 10 with the heat acclimation week. All other sports can start practice on Aug. 17. The first contest date for football is Aug. 28. The first game date for all other sports, with the exception of golf and girls tennis, is Sept. 4. Golf can start on Aug. 20 and tennis on Aug. 24 (both require less practice before the first competition date).