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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167


Hours before a major lawsuit was to be filed against NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo, the state’s Department of Health released guidelines allowing high risk sports to return February 1st. The news is spreading like wild fire as student-athletes, coaches and parents took to social media to rejoice in the announcement.

Finally!!!! Thanks to all the parents and coaches that worked to make this happen. We lost a lot of opportunities that players around the country have had. Now we get our chance @CanisiusHSFB #SpringSeason — Tyler Baker (@tdbaker12129) January 22, 2021

We are back!!! — Tom Prince (@WNYTomPrince) January 22, 2021

The local health departments will have to sign off first, but today’s announcement was a huge first step.

The sports deemed high risk were basketball, hockey, wrestling, volleyball, football and cheerleading. Football and volleyball are traditionally played in the fall but admins approved a measure last October to move them to the spring in the event the health department approved.

The winter season was pushed back to January 18th, bowling, boys swimming, rifle and downhill skiing are underway. The high risk sports will begin on February 1st.

“We need six practices in before we start playing games,” Tony Pulvirenti head coach of the Cardinal O’Hara boys basketball team said. “I’ve tried to stay positive throughout this whole process, as a head coach and an Athletic Director you have to remain positive.” Pulvirenti had been talking with his staff about what kind of schedule they might see if the state decided to move ahead with a season.

“Honestly, 12 games would satisfy. I’m just really happy for those seniors. I’m getting texts from the guys now, they are very excited as we all are.”

Ken Stoldt and Jay Sirriani, chairmen of the Section VI football committee were equally excited when the news came down. “Jay and I will get right to work on putting together a schedule for the spring,” Stoldt said. “The coaches were adamant they wanted playoffs so we will include a two-week schedule for playoffs, teams can expect a 6 game regular season. We will do a Chuck Funke Bowl as well.”

To be clear, the NYS Department of Health has issued the green light for the high risk sports to begin, but the final decision must come from the local health authorities.

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