The Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School District committee approved low and moderate risk fall sports in an emergency meeting Sept. 11. Members gave Boothbay Region High School Athletic Director Allan Crocker the go-ahead to select which sports he, coaches and school administrators feel confident can maintain the recently updated Maine Principals Association standards and a healthy, safe environment for student-athletes.
Crocker said many considerations will go into a season for a handful of sports teams. The end goal is to organize at least four cross country meets and eight field hockey games, but even those will depend on how many schools opt into a season. Cross country has been classified as a low-risk sport; field hockey, moderate risk. Crocker said because football is considered high risk, MPA has decided an interscholastic seven-versus-seven flag-football dynamic would be moderate risk.
“High risk I wouldn't even ask for,” said Crocker. “A low-risk sport … can go anywhere in Maine and pick up a meet. Obviously we'll do that within reason.”
Crocker said the only time a low risk sport like cross country would forgo a match or game is if the DOE reclassified the opposing school or district as a “yellow” or “red” category of COVID-19 spread risk. Moderate risk sports such as field hockey or flag football would allow for competition within Lincoln County and all adjacent counties. Crocker said two schools in the Mountain Valley Conference committed to having fall sports, two schools opted out and the rest are still waiting on input from superintendents and boards.
“Where the football conversation just started – I don't know if there's even an interest … Given the green light to continue with sports, I would like to have the opportunity to explore all (options) if needed, but I do know that cross country and field hockey are definites that we would want approval for.”
Crocker said neighboring athletic programs will need to be identified and schedules created; there will be no spectators for games and matches in the MVC and Boothbay Region TV will need game schedules before committing to a filming schedule; referees will need to be scheduled and Crocker said because officials will be required to wear masks at all times, there will be a possible 50% drop off in officials; eighth graders need to be surveyed for interest in joining BRHS field hockey and participation will need approval from MPA.
Crocker said he would consider options like flag football or girls junior varsity soccer if students express enough interest. Soccer was recently reclassified from high to moderate risk, he noted.
The CSD also approved extracurricular activities school administrators feel are safe and can easily follow Maine Center for Disease Control and Department of Education guidelines. BRHS Principal Tricia Campbell said the main extracurriculars being considered are math club, robotics, drama and student council. Said Campbell, “(But) I like the idea of having the flexibility to be able to entertain any opportunity for our students.”