By Terry Toohey
Will Higson and roughly 30 of his Haverford High football teammates went through a grueling, 45-minute workout under a blazing sun Monday afternoon.
Normally, Higson and his teammates would have worn helmets for this training session, as Monday was supposed to be the first day of the PIAA’s week-long heat acclimatization period for football.
These, though, are not normal times.
The PIAA pushed back the heat acclimatization week’s start to Aug. 24 as it tries to figure out if there will be high school athletics in the fall during the COVID-19 pandemic. So T-shirts and shorts were the order of the day Monday, with not a helmet in sight.
That wasn’t the only sign that things are different in the age of the coronavirus pandemic. After the session was over, Haverford coach Joe Gallagher called the players together for the usual post-workout pep talk, only the players did not gather around their coach in tight cluster as is customary.
Instead, they spread out, standing the socially accepted six-feet apart, and all wearing masks, including Gallagher.
“We’re preparing as if there’s going to be a season,” Higson said. “We’re working hard every day. When we leave here we do our best to stay safe, social distance, wear a mask and stay away from things that can harm the football season because I know everybody on this team will do anything to have a season.”
By Matt Smith
There will be no fall sports at Academy Park in 2020.
After Southeast Delco School District’s board of school directors voted last week to approve an all-virtual educational plan for the fall marking period, the school district followed Monday with the announcement that it would suspend all sports this fall.
Southeast Delco is the first school district in the county to cancel fall sports. Other districts, including Radnor, Upper Darby and Haverford, have decided to begin the year with virtual learning but have not yet cancelled athletics.
Late Monday evening, Academy Park posted on its football team’s Twitter account that “it is our hope that student-athletes may be able to lace them up this spring.”
By Mike Mayer, Webmaster
I have been following high school football in Delaware County since 1995 and have audio broadcasted over 250 high school football games in that time. I am always excited when August comes around and I get to focus on the start of a new football season. As I watch the U.S. reeling from COVID-19 infections and deaths I am also having trouble dealing with the question of deciding whether we should play football or not.
I have noticed that all the plans that are being made are in the hope of preventing infection but there seems to be no firm plan as to what to do if infection occurs.
It would be wonderful if the efforts of schools would be 100% effective and they prevent the virus from infiltrating our schools. So far no one has been able to accomplish that. Even the professional sports leagues, with substantially more funding and an ability with total containment for their teams (NBA and NHL), is showing gaps in prevention. Will school sports follow closely behind? It seems unrealistic to believe that we would begin to play football and not expect COVID-19 to appear. Yet, I see no definitive plan as to what actions to take.
If we acknowledge that infection is bound to occur at some level, then the question is how many infections and/or deaths need to occur before we decide we have to cancel the season? Some schools may feel one to three cases is acceptable while others may feel five to ten cases is acceptable. How about the death of an athlete or coach during the season due to the virus?
By Matt Smith
The PIAA kicked the can back to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf when the commonwealth’s governing body for high school athletics announced in a statement Friday that it had reached no solution as to how to proceed with fall sports.
if you’re angry, good. You deserve to be.
Yes, Wolf and politicians in Harrisburg deserve a large share of the blame, too. Wolf continuously avoided dropping the hammer or offering guidance on how school sports should operate in the fall. Rather, he demurred to individual school districts to make those choices before nonchalantly stating at the end of press conference Thursday that sports should be cancelled until January.
It’s clear that nobody wants to be the bad guy.
Wolf’s surprise comments notwithstanding, it’s the PIAA’s job to take firm action. But leadership spent two days in meetings – one a closed-door executive-only session, the other open to the media – and issued vague statements offering zero updates. The people wanted answers and the PIAA dropped the ball.
When it comes to high school sports and how to proceed in the fall, Pennsylvania is a shining example of what not to do.
The ongoing saga between Governor Tom Wolf’s administration and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) concerning the future of athletics this fall is showing no signs of abating.
A day after Wolf unveiled a “strong recommendation” that all high school sports be postponed until 2021 due to safety concerns from the COVID-19 outbreak, the PIAA convened an impromptu board of directors meeting on Friday.
In a vote of 30-2, the PIAA approved a two-week delay in the start date for practices and contests in order to “… continue to seek a dialog with the administration, the legislature and all athletic stakeholders to obtain clarification on the possibility of safely conducting athletic activities in conjunction with the start of the school year.”
Under the new plan, heat acclimation week for football, as well as the start of workouts for all other fall sports programs, can begin on Aug. 24. The opening date for contests has been moved from Aug. 28 to Sept. 11.
By Bob Grotz
Eagles Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz interrupted his Zoom conference Friday to urge the PIAA not to give in to Gov. Tom Wolf’s recommendation that high school sports in Pennsylvania be shelved until January 2021.
Ertz challenged the governor, the PIAA, state health authorities and high schools to find a way to preserve sports for high school athletes.
“I want to touch on one thing,” Ertz said almost out of nowhere. “The PIAA is talking in about 30 minutes. I just want to talk a little bit about high school football. My experiences, I was 15 years old, my parents separated. I was the oldest of four boys and the only thing that I knew how to do, the only thing I could do to express myself — I was so frustrated inside — the only thing I could do was play football.
“I focused, all I did was lift weights, play football and play basketball. And that allowed me to kind of release my internal kind of stress and pressure that I have built up. And Tom Wolf yesterday came out with the recommendation that there is no fall football or fall sports in general. The adversity I faced when I was 15 is about one 1,000th of what many kids in this day in particular, are going to be facing if they don’t have an outlet, if there is no football in the fall for these kids.”
By Edward Sutelan
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday he believes there should be no sports in Pennsylvania for the remainder of the year.
During a his press conference, Wolf was asked about the PIAA giving sports the green light to resume athletics in the state, to which he responded that “the recommendation is that we don’t do any sports until January 1st.”
“The guidance is that we ought to avoid any congregate settings,” Wolf said. “And that means anything that brings people together is going to help that virus get us and we ought to do everything we can to defeat that virus. So any time we get together for any reason, that’s a problem because it makes it easier for that virus to spread.”
By Terry Toohey
It’s looking more and more like the fall high school sports season is going to start later than usual thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Penncrest High School pushed the start of its fall in-season practices back to Aug. 24 for safety, the school announced on Twitter Tuesday. That includes the heat acclimation week for football.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” athletic director Chip Olinger said.
Olinger has asked the school board to extend its OTA health plan/practices through Aug. 23. It is supposed to end Sunday. He said the board is expected to vote on that issue Thursday and make a determination on fall sports on Aug. 20.
Under PIAA regulations, teams must have three full weeks of practice before competition can begin. That means the earliest games can begin for Penncrest is Friday, Sept. 11.
Last week the PIAA announced that it was moving forward with fall sports as scheduled but gave individual schools the option for alternative or hybrid starts. The decision by Penncrest would fall into the hybrid category.
According to the PIAA calendar, football is allowed to start Aug. 10 with the heat acclimation week. All other sports can start practice on Aug. 17. The first contest date for football is Aug. 28. The first game date for all other sports, with the exception of golf and girls tennis, is Sept. 4. Golf can start on Aug. 20 and tennis on Aug. 24 (both require less practice before the first competition date).
By Havenfootball.net Staff
As we were working on a new project during the lock-down we realized that with all the pages and pages and many years of statistics we published we had no easy way to look up season records (win/loss) for each year. We have now corrected that problem.
Appearing on our Statistics page you will now see a new line item in each “Seasons Stats” box labeled “Win/loss”. Clicking on that link will send you to a page that has a box that will show the total win/loss for the season as well as each game played, the opponent, the score, date of game, the leading passer, receiver, rusher and tackler for each game.
If you scroll down to the Statistical History you will find the same information for each archived year down to 2007. Enjoy!