Mecklenburg County Schools recently announced that Park View High School and Bluestone High School will not participate in the first two sports seasons of the Virginia High School League revised schedule this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision cancels winter sports for both schools that were scheduled to start in December (girls and boys basketball and indoor track) and fall sports (football, volleyball, golf and cross country) that are scheduled to begin in February.
Many local school divisions also made the decision recently not to play winter sports. That list includes Southampton HS, Surry HS, Sussex-Central HS, Greensville HS and Prince Edward HS as well as Richmond city public schools.
Athletic director Harold Williams said that Brunswick High School is still undecided but expects a final decision to be announced at the next school board meeting.
Park View athletic director Mike Barmoy said Mecklenburg County Schools is waiting to make a decision about spring sports (baseball, softball, soccer and outdoor track.) The hope is that pandemic conditions will improve after the winter months and Park View and Bluestone can participate in spring sports.
“We will revisit the situation in March and see where things are and if we can play the spring schedule,” he said.
Barmoy, who also coaches the PV girls’ basketball team, said while it is the right decision to cancel sports at this time, he understands that it is also a disappointing one for the student-athletes.
“I’m disappointed for the kids, especially the seniors,” he said. “This is certainly not how your senior year is supposed to go. Hopefully we can get back to some sort of normalcy soon.”
High School sports were shuttered across Virginia in March due to the pandemic during the state basketball tournament and just days before the spring sports regular season was scheduled to begin.
Many schools that have decided not to play sports this winter said the decision was made for the safety of the athletes and coaches as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the state and country. Other issues which affected the decision for many schools included the financial implications on athletic budgets with limited gates, the fact that most students are currently not in the classroom, the number of district schools that are not planning to participate and the extensive mitigation required to assure safety at practices and games.
While Brunswick HS is still undecided, only three teams – ARGS, Franklin and Windsor - in the Tri-Rivers District have said they plan to play winter sports.
Nyjae Talley, a senior on the Park View girls’ varsity basketball team, said she is disappointed that she will not be able to play this season.
“I am sad because it is my senior season,” she said. “It just sucks.”