By Terry Toohey
The Catholic League has reversed course and will resume fall sports. The Del Val League will stay the course, choosing not to play its fall season until 2021.
The announcements came several hours apart.
The Office of Catholic Education and Faith in the Future Foundation announced late Friday afternoon that the 17 high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia “may resume interscholastic athletic competition while continuing to strictly follow health and safety guidelines.”
That is an about-face of the Aug. 24 announcement to postpone fall sports until the New Year.
“Since the late August announcement, our school administrators have worked closely with senior leadership from the Office of Catholic Education and Faith in the Future to meticulously study pandemic metrics, guidelines, and school COVID profiles as part of our continuous assessment process,” Sister Maureen L. McDermott, the superintendent for secondary schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said in a statement. “After carefully reviewing all possible factors, including the successful opening of our schools, we believe the environment has changed for the better over the past month.
“We understand and value the importance of athletics as part of the program of formation within our high schools,” Sister McDermott went on to say. “We express our gratitude to our school communities for their trust and support while we appropriately deliberated how to bring back athletic programs with a commitment to safety in these unprecedented times.”
The Catholic League is the third league with Delco schools as members to reverse course. The Central and Ches-Mont Leagues announced earlier this week that it will resume the fall season in the coming weeks.