Parkland Press

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Hope remains for fall sports seasons

Thursday, June 25, 2020 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

The 2020 calendar year has been a wild ride thus far.

The Coronavirus pandemic that hit the United States in March has been something that has never really been seen before. With it rapidly spreading in its first appearance, the PIAA came to the decision to halt sports, canceling the spring season altogether.

Many student-athletes were forced to miss competition completely for the year. The seniors unfortunately had their high school careers cut short.

Parkland High School athletic director Bill Dreisbach saw firsthand how it felt for the Trojans student-athletes on being told there would be no spring season.

“It was a very strange and helpless feeling I had,” said Dreisbach. “The senior athletes and all of the seniors in general missed out on so many things and you just felt so bad for all of them. I also felt bad for the underclassmen, not only in athletics but all of them. I said this back a few months ago that this was a life lesson learned, but they could have done without learning it.”

Now, three months later, with plenty of new things coming in and continuing to change, there are guidelines out there with the anticipation of returning to action this fall. Dreisbach, like many other school’s administrators, is optimistic and hopeful that the fall will bring back sports.

“This whole situation has been the unknown,” Dreisbach said. “This fall we are preparing as if we will play fall sports, which I do believe we will. As for the spectators we will have to wait for guidance. Everything is not only changing weekly, but daily and hourly at times.”

The PIAA has allowed schools to resume voluntary sports related activities. The Pennsylvania Department of Education released athletic health and safety plan guidelines for schools to follow as they begin to have a phased comeback. Dreisbach and his fellow Parkland High School administrators have been discussing anything and everything that may come up and are devising a plan for fall activities resuming.

“We have been preparing the past two months and will continue to be ready for different scenarios,” said Dreisbach. “We can’t predict the future, but we want to be as prepared as we can for it.”

With a three-and-a-half-month hiatus of high school sports, athletes, coaches, administrators and fans alike are anxiously awaiting the return to normalcy. When it does happen, there may be more excitement than ever before around the sports world, but also around the overall campuses in general.

“I think that also goes for academics, the arts and athletics, the overall school experience,” Dreisbach said. “The one thing we can learn from the last three months is you can’t take anything for granted and to appreciate the opportunity to compete in the sport you love.”