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Foothills Council fall sports awaiting decision by superintendents, announcement Wednesday

Foothills Council fall sports awaiting decision by superintendents, announcement Wednesday

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The Foothills Council is set to make an announcement Wednesday about its plans for the upcoming fall sports season, after a meeting of member school superintendents on Tuesday.

The Adirondack League is also expected to make an announcement about its fall sports Wednesday.

Steve Nolan, the Foothills Council president and Amsterdam athletic director, said a meeting of athletic administrators earlier Tuesday indicated school athletic departments were prepared to play low- and moderate-risk sports this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Nolan said the league was planning to go ahead with golf, girls tennis and cross country, all considered low-risk sports by the state Department of Health. He said the league also made up schedules for field hockey and boys and girls soccer, but did not mention girls swimming. He added that field hockey and soccer were up in the air pending the superintendents’ meeting, and could potentially move to the early spring.

“We’re trying to hold onto what we can and do it safely,” Nolan said early Tuesday afternoon.

The Foothills Council’s pending decision comes in the wake of several state and sectional moves in recent weeks over concerns — health and logistical — about the coronavirus. The league includes local schools Glens Falls, Hudson Falls, Queensbury, Schuylerville and South Glens Falls.

Football and volleyball were moved to the “Fall II season” — the window from March 1 to the first week of May — by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association last week. Low- and moderate-risk sports were given the green light to begin practicing on Monday, Sept. 21.

NYSPHSAA is leaving it up to individual sections to determine what sports they will play this fall, if any. Some sections have chosen to defer all fall sports until early spring. Section II is leaving it up to individual leagues and schools how they want to approach the fall season. NYSPHSAA and Section II had earlier canceled all fall sports championships.

On Monday, the Wasaren League opted to move all fall sports to the Fall II season in early spring.

The Adirondack League is voting school-by-school to determine the fate of fall sports. So far, Hadley-Luzerne and Bolton are known to be in favor of playing sports this fall, and Whitehall and Hartford are in favor of deferring to the Fall II season in early spring.

The Western Athletic Conference on Monday voted to move soccer to the Fall II season, but plans to continue to compete in cross country and golf. The Suburban Council chose to move forward with varsity and JV sports this fall, though not every school will play every sport.

Section VII on Tuesday said in a release that it was supporting its member schools “through the decision-making process” of whether to go forward with fall sports or move them to spring. The section’s press release said it was working with each sport’s committee to “establish clear and consistent protocols for its slate of Fall Sports.”

“We understand the primary focus of every school is on opening their district and educating students in the safest way possible,” Section VII president Brian Norcross said in the release. “For this and a variety of other reasons, we will fully support a district that decides not to play this fall.”

Follow Pete Tobey on Twitter @PTobeyPSVarsity.

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Covering high school and minor-league sports in Section II since 1989. SUNY Plattsburgh grad. Colleen's lesser half. Three amazing young people call me Dad. Fan of Philadelphia Eagles, New York Rangers and Mets, and Syracuse Orange.

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