Maryland Superintendent allows Fall sports to commence; Harford county introduces virtual challenges for online season

Jake Gay, Reporter

    In September Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and state superintendent Karen B. Salmon announced that all high school athletics were permitted to begin practices on Oct. 7th. 

    “High school sports and competition are deeply rooted in the fabric of our schools and communities,” Salmon commented, the desire for students to be “active and engaged for their physical, social, and emotional well-being.”

    Even with the established announcement, sports are under the discretion of each county. Harford County has announced that it will continue to wait for full-scale sports to commence in January. Montgomery, Charles, Anne Arundel, and Howard Counties have all stated similar plans. 

     In response to this much of the scholastic athletic community was outraged. To help athletes prepare for the upcoming season, Harford County has introduced conditioning and fitness challenges athletes can participate in over the fall season. These challenges are specific to each sport and offer a variety of fundamental instruction as well as drills. North Harford Senior Lily Macatee described her thoughts, “I just think that they just don’t compare in any way to an actual season of a sport, and they are just frustrating that we have to do them. all the players want to do is play and doing the virtual training and challenges defeat the purpose of what we want to do which is play”       

      These virtual challenges include “ How many sets of kicks can you complete in a minute? Change legs every five kicks, how long can you juggle a soccer ball, how many outs can you make consecutively over 10 feet?”

      Macatee is committed to playing Lacrosse at the University of Gettysburg, but for many, the absence of a fall season has left them without an opportunity to compete for college scholarships (thus being a major criticism across the state).

    Longtime North Harford sports coach Nick Panos states that “it’s so difficult, it’s historic times, nobody can have a perfect answer.” In response to a recent Aegis interview, Panos also said that in the current circumstances he would “be nervous riding in buses.” 

     With the state and county now laying out their plans for the upcoming seasons, athletes can look forward to regular season sports making a comeback in the winter. The current Harford county plan would start sports practices in January beginning with the winter season. Each season would be shorter than normal circumstances and the current plan is subject to change in COVID conditions across the community.