Connect with us


Coronavirus update: Hernando County cancels spring sports



Coronavirus update/Photo credit: Alexander Schimmeck

Games postponed. Test taking shuttered. Recruiting altered. The spread of coronavirus has impacted nearly everything in high school athletics.

For the past two weeks, students in the area’s four counties (Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas) stayed home following recommendations from the Center for Disease Control. They were scheduled for spring break two weeks ago and continued the hiatus this past week by embarking on virtual classrooms. 

Students, though, will not be returning to school anytime soon, if at all. 

The Florida Department of Education has closed all public and private K-12 schools through April 15. The Florida High School Athletic Association responded by postponing all meetings and athletic events until further notice. The state’s governing body for sports has not ruled out a return to spring sports just yet. Last week, FHSAA public relations specialist Ashton Mosely said there were no new updates about whether spring sports would resume.  

Putting together district tournaments or meets could be difficult, especially after the Hernando County School District cancelled all field trips and events, including athletic activities, for the remainder of the school year. The athletic directors in the area’s other three counties all said there have not been any conversations about scrapping spring sports — yet.   

“I would have liked to have been in on the conversation, but I understand it is not my decision to make.” Springstead athletic director Dustin Kupcik said. “I recognize that student, coach and spectator safety is priority number one. We may have ended up here anyway, but I just would have liked to be in line with the FHSAA.”

The worry for many is if the virus—and social distancing — extends beyond the summer and impacts fall sports, particularly football, the biggest revenue-producer for nearly every school. For example, Springstead has home games scheduled this coming season against three county rivals, including Nature Coast Tech. 

“That money, as you know, helps propel our whole athletics program,” Kupcik said.

Continue Reading


No more fans at Pasco County sporting events after COVID spike



Stock football stadium

Pasco County has decided to limit all athletic activities to students and coaches due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases. 

That means no fans or media members in attendance. 

The new rule starts on Monday and will last until the positivity rate, which has climbed to nine percent, drops to below five percent for a rolling seven-day period. 

In the past two weeks, two county football teams — Wiregrass Ranch and Fivay — had to forfeit playoff games because of a player testing positive for coronavirus and multiple team members and coaches having to quarantine due to contact tracing. 

Continue Reading


COVID case ends Osceola’s volleyball season



Osceola, which made the Class 5A region finals in volleyball last season, had to forfeit Monday’s district quarterfinal match because its entire junior varsity and varsity teams are quarantining after a player tested positive for the coronavirus on Sept. 25, Pinellas County athletic director Al Bennett said.  

By forfeiting, the Warriors ended their season. They were ranked fifth in the state in Class 5A and were expected to go on another deep playoff run.

“We have to follow what the health officials tell us,” Bennett said. “It’s tough because Osceola is one of our best volleyball teams in the county. I talked to the Florida High School Athletic Association and they said there were plenty of other teams around the state in the same situation.”

Under CDC and Pinellas County health department guidelines, any student athlete who tests positive must be quarantined, as well as anyone who comes within six feet for more than a 15-minute duration without any face covering. Osceola’s quarantine ends on Oct. 19, a week after the district tournament.. 

All the players have currently tested negative, including the one who was originally positive. But the quarantine did not end. The Warriors also had to postpone their appearance in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference championship game. That title game against St. Petersburg will be made up once the Green Devils’ season ends. 

“It’s heartbreaking for the seniors to have their season end this way, but we’re really excited for the chance to play the PCAC Final at home for senior night as our last match of the season, against our toughest competition, St Petersburg,” Osceola coach Ashley Martin said.”It will feel like a state championship since a trophy is involved.”    

Continue Reading


PHU cancels season opener after a football player tests positive for coronavirus



Palm Harbor University’s season opener against rival East Lake this Friday has been cancelled after a Hurricanes player tested positive for coronavirus, Pinellas County athletic director Al Bennett confirmed in a text message.

It was unclear how many PHU players are currently under quarantine. According to CDC and county health department guidelines, a player who tests positive must quarantine, as well as anyone who comes within six feet for more than a 15 minute duration with a face covering.

The Hurricanes next game is scheduled for Sept. 17 at Wharton. Bennett said the school is looking into moving that game to Saturday or Monday to avoid another cancellation.

The Eagles will now host Sarasota Riverview in Friday’s opener.

This is the fourth area football program that had to cancel its season opener after having a player test positive for the virus.

Hillsborough and Jefferson, which were supposed to play on Friday, both have players under quarantine. Their opponents, Chamberlain and Gaither, are now kicking off the regular season against each other.

Zephyrhills is in a similar situation and had to cancel its first two games.

Continue Reading


Copyright © Prime Time Preps