Chatham County Schools will delay summer workouts until at least July 6

BY CHAPEL FOWLER, News + Record Staff
Posted 6/10/20

Modified summer workouts for high schools in Chatham County won’t begin until at least July 6, and only fall sports will be permitted to hold workouts, according to tweets from the Northwood …

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Chatham County Schools will delay summer workouts until at least July 6

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Posted

Modified summer workouts for high schools in Chatham County won’t begin until at least July 6, and only fall sports teams will be permitted to hold workouts.

The decisions were made on a Zoom call Tuesday afternoon featuring Chris Blice, the district athletic director, and the principals and athletic directors at Northwood, Jordan-Matthews and Chatham Central, the three high schools in the Chatham County Schools system.

The meeting came a day after the NCHSAA’s announcement, on Monday, that schools could begin modified summer workouts on June 15 under a comprehensive list of Phase One safety precautions. But the NCHSAA also emphasized local school districts had the authority to enforce stricter guidelines and push back their start dates.

Cameron Vernon, Northwood’s co-athletic director, said the group came to a consensus Tuesday that, if workouts were to start June 15 (next Monday), schools “won’t be ready.”

“We won't be ready in terms of supplies, we won't be ready in terms of procedure and just coaching our coaches as to what this looks like,” he said.

As for limiting the workouts to fall sports, Vernon said the group discussed how athletes practicing for multiple sports in a day, in multiple small groups or “pods,” wouldn’t fit into the NCHSAA’s Phase One guidelines. Plus, fall sports are closest to starting their seasons.

“We thought it would just get really messy,” Vernon said, “if we had student-athletes participating in football, let's say in the morning, and joining another group for basketball in the afternoon, baseball in the evening. That happens at all of our schools because we share athletes with our teams. We made the decision that it would be the best and the safest to just do fall sports and start on July 6 to give us time to prepare.”

The July 6 start date is three weeks from June 15, the day the NCHSAA’s dead period will expire and schools will be free to conduct modified summer workouts with the consent of their local districts. That date, a Monday, will also allow Chatham County families who planned on July 4 celebrations to maintain any weekend plans.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Wake County Schools, two of the largest in the state, announced Monday they would wait until at least July 6 to begin summer workouts, too.

Chatham Charter and Woods Charter, the two other high schools in the county, compete in NCHSAA athletics but are not a part of the Chatham County Schools district, so the July 6 date does not apply to them.

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

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