Chatham Charter will pause athletics until Nov. 12, still plans to start seasons on time

BY CHAPEL FOWLER, News + Record Staff
Posted 10/29/20

SILER CITY — Chatham Charter is postponing high school athletics until at least Nov. 12 but still plans to start its cross country and volleyball seasons as scheduled the following …

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Chatham Charter will pause athletics until Nov. 12, still plans to start seasons on time

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Posted

SILER CITY — Chatham Charter is postponing high school athletics until at least Nov. 12 but still plans to start its cross country and volleyball seasons as scheduled the following week.

“That’s our plan for now, unless something changes,” athletic director Clint Fields told the News + Record on Thursday.

The school’s athletics postponement came as part of a comprehensive email to families Wednesday afternoon, in which Chatham Charter announced it would return to fully remote Plan C learning for the rest of the semester after administration learned "an individual with a connection to the school" tested positive for COVID-19 two weekends ago.

Kindergartners started in-person learning at the Siler City school Oct. 7, and 1st through 5th graders returned the following week. Older students were set to return last Monday, Oct. 19 before the school learned Sunday, Oct. 18 that an individual had tested positive for coronavirus.

Chatham Charter initially postponed all in-person learning and athletics through Friday, Oct. 30, before announcing this week its move to virtual learning through Dec. 18. As of Wednesday, there have been three total positive COVID-19 tests: the initial individual and two close contacts.

From a sports standpoint, the postponement doesn’t affect too much for now.

The Knights will miss out on roughly four weeks of preseason “skill session” workouts, which they have been holding in some form since mid-June. And their official cross country and volleyball tryouts/practices — which can start Nov. 4, per the NCHSAA — will be delayed at least a week.

But, as Fields said Thursday, Chatham Charter is still planning to start its 2020 volleyball and cross country seasons the week of Monday, Nov. 16. That’s another date provided by the NCHSAA.

And playing games while students remain in virtual learning isn’t a concept unique to Chatham Charter.

The three high schools in the Chatham County Schools system — Northwood, Jordan-Matthews and Chatham Central — will start their athletic years with high schoolers in remote learning, too. As of now, the majority of CCS students will remain in Plan C through mid-January.

As a side effect of Chatham Charter’s decision, the camps its varsity basketball teams were planning to host in November for 2nd through 8th grade players have all been canceled, too.

Reporter Chapel Fowler can be reached at cfowler@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @chapelfowler.

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