Creswell, Sports Zone

Creswell aims to squeeze all sports in during 2021

CRESWELL — It may be a few months before any coronavirus vaccines become available locally. Still, high school students from throughout the state had to feel like Monday’s OSAA meeting — which laid out a plan for an abbreviated 2021 sports and activities schedule — was a real shot in the arm.

Peter Weber, executive director of the Oregon School Activities Association, said there’s no guarantees about anything nowadays. That being said, he feels good about the new OSAA plan.

“We don’t want to cancel anything, but we have a plan that we think can work,” Weber said. “We want these kids to be able to play.” 

As it stands now, competition is set to begin March 1, with three slightly overlapping six-week seasons. This is how the three new seasons break down:

* Season 2: Football, cross country, soccer and volleyball. Begins practice Feb. 22 (except football, which begins practice Feb. 8) and begins competition March 1.

* Season 3: Baseball, softball, golf, tennis, and track and field. Practice begins April 5 and competition starts on April 12.

* Season 4: Basketball, swimming and wrestling. Practice starts May 10, competition starts on May 17.

Of course, full-contact sports are currently banned, and that ban will need to be lifted by the governor’s office and the Oregon Health Authority — or else there will be no football season. 

“I think this is the best decision we could make, given the circumstances,” Creswell athletic director Brandon Standridge said. “The only dicey sport I see is football, that one’s the most precarious of all. Soccer and cross country are outside, low-contact sports, so they should be OK.” 

If all goes as planned, football will play a 7-game season; basketball will play 14 games; volleyball gets 14 matches as well. Each season will be followed by a week of playoffs. 

Volleyball — according to guidelines from the governor’s office and the OHA — can be played only in counties not in the “extreme risk” category. Weber says it is his hope that those counties get past those high-risk levels. 

What happens if the ban isn’t lifted by February? Is there any hope for football and other full-contact sports?

Possibly, but maybe not. The OSAA board has another regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 8.

“At this point, everything is final, but as we get closer to Feb. 8, I’m sure we’ll have further comments,” Weber said.

“Since football is no contact, we’ve extended it out, and some are doing 7-on-7 — but something will have to change from the governor’s office.”

Season 1, which started on August 31, was pushed back through February to allow student-athletes to do in-person training and conditioning without contact. Some areas, if allowed by the governor’s office, OHA and their local school district, even allow competitions in some form or another.

The graduating Class of 2019 lost their entire spring sports season due to the virus. The Class of 2020 was fearful of losing its entire year of sports. Maybe, just maybe, the games will go on this time. 



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