Cleveland-area high schools ready to play after Ohio governor gives fall sports the green light

Area high schools ready to play after Gov. DeWine gives fall sports the green light

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - After weeks of uncertainty, high school athletic teams, coaches and administrators are officially preparing for a season this fall in Ohio.

“It’s going to be like a semifinal for us,” said Strongsville Girls Soccer Coach Todd Church, referring to the team’s first game of the season. “It’s really made a great impression upon our girls, going through this. The appreciation will certainly be very, very high.”

As of now, that game is scheduled for August 29th, but Church said there is still uncertainty about the fall scheduled because DeWine gave schools the option of shifting their season to the spring.

Church said for soccer, that would create conflicts with the club leagues.

While Strongsville officials have not yet said what their plan is for fall sports, the Mustangs’ teams have been practicing and preparing for a season.

“It’s up to us to adjust and adapt to what they feel is the right thing to do,” Church told 19 News.

The Mustangs won the Greater Cleveland Conference last season and were region finalists in the postseason tournament. Expectations are high this season.

Church credited his players with staying focused despite so many potential distractions.

“They have dealt with everything we have put in front of them. They’ve adjusted, they’ve adapted and they continue to do so. When I look at these kids, I feel good about the future,” he said.

He especially applauded his seniors.

“This is their last go around and they want to make a lasting impression,” Church said.

In a Tuesday evening news release, the head of the Ohio High School Activities Association wrote:

“The OHSAA is moving forward because we want kids to have an opportunity to participate, and the Governor’s Office is providing that opportunity and a chance.
Bob Goldringn, OHSAA Interim Executive Director

Many districts, schools, coaches and/or athletic directors took to social media following DeWine’s announcement.

Some schools appeared to be waiting for the full release of DeWine’s order before making any decisions.

“We as a district are acknowledging Gov. DeWine’s verbal recommendations, and look forward to reviewing his official order with our district leadership, Board of Education and Great Lakes Conference leadership team. Our Middle School and High School athletic teams and activities will continue with current phases until a formal decision has been reached,” said Bay Village Activities Director Matt Spellman.

Gov. DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted met with coaches and other officials via teleconference Tuesday night.

Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.