CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Southwestern Conference, which consists of Amherst, Avon, Avon Lake, Berea-Midpark, Lakewood, Midview, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville, Olmsted Falls and Westlake, has announced their winter sports will be delayed. They will not be starting up till at least December 7th. “Everybody is in agreement that we have a problem,” said SWC Commissioner Mike McCarthy.
The problem is a COVID surge in Ohio. His conference has schools in more than one county, which is not unique, but is one more element for them to juggle. “Four of our schools are in Cuyahoga County, five are in Lorain County. We are dealing with sometimes differing directives and opinions from the various county health directors,” said McCarthy.
The conference was one of many that had teams playing fall sports not long ago. Avon and Avon Lake both made deep playoff runs. But that is not the same, says McCarthy. “Winter presents another problem because all of the sports are indoors. Just the closing of the doors and not having fresh air being exchanged in the building on a regular basis presents a challenge.”
The Superintendents will revisit the issue on December 3rd to decide if they want to extend this delay. In the meantime the athletes can at least practice. “So that they can stay in shape, be prepared for when this is lifted,” said McCarthy.
This puts a hold on basketball, hockey, gymnastics, bowling, swimming and wrestling. What happens to missed games has yet to be determined. Schools could decide to just cancel them, or try to make them up. With the season just getting underway they have a lot of flexibility still.