Rise in COVID-19 cases prompts schools to cancel fall sports, events

SPRINGFIELD — Fall sports cancelations are becoming more and more prevalent across the Miami Valley and Ohio now that more kids are back in school.

In Springfield the football team is dealing with the possibility of not playing a game for two consecutive weeks because their opponents have had to cancel and as of Tuesday the Wildcats have been unable to find a week three foe.

This fall sports season has been different compared to what teams, coaches, and athletic directors dealt with a year ago.

“It’s been great to have fans back so that’s been a wonderful thing to see crowds coming up to support our kids so that part’s been great,” Springfield athletic director Michael Dellapina said. “But we’re not out of the woods yet we’re still dealing with the effects of the virus and having kids be out and having other teams that have had to quarantine and so forth. That part does make it a little touchy and you have to be ready to change on an instant.”

Dellapina said it feels like cancelations have happened much more suddenly than a year ago. He said that last year there were much more uniform protocols across the state compared to now. But for coaches and athletes this uncertainty can present a whole different challenge.

“I think that they have all adapted very well but there is always that looming uncertainty of what’s going to happen next,” Dellapina said. “That certainly was the case when we received the call about our football game last week. We received similar calls with volleyball, with soccer and other sports. It’s happening all over the place.”

However for football these sudden changes, like Springfield learning on Thursday before its week two game that the opponent would be unable to play, can be much more difficult to navigate.

“Every day of practice is clearly defined and outlined and you know what you’re going to do leading up to those Friday or Saturday contests,” Dellapina said. “Any time of disruption upsets the apple cart in a lot of different ways and you have to quickly adapt on the fly.”

Knowing that more cancelations across sports are likely to pop up Dellapina said that people should be aware that there’s things they can do to try and mitigate the disruptions.

“People need to be cognizant of the fact that things are going to change and things could change quickly and that there are still a lot of things that people could do to ensure their safety, the safety of their students, the safety of their fans and so forth,” Dellapina said. “WE can’t diminish the fact that the virus is still out there and very active and we need to do everything we can to continue to take precautions so we’re not impacted negatively because people are still getting sick, people are still dying and even people that have been vaccinated are being impacted so there’s still a lot that we have to do as a general population not just within the school but as communities to do our part that our kids can play and our kids are safe.”

Springfield has made several calls to try and get a week three opponent but some like Alter and Miamisburg are playing one another instead.

There’s been other hurdles but as of Tuesday afternoon Springfield still hasn’t been able to find a new opponent and is willing to travel anywhere to play.

If they can’t find a team to play then Springfield will have to wait until September 10th to play Wayne.

James Rider

James Rider

I was born in Virginia and have moved several times in my life as a member of an Air Force family. I've lived in Virginia, California, Germany, England, and Ohio. I graduated from Centerville High School and then went on to attend Ball State University where I graduated with a bachelor's degree.