Basketball and Wrestling Seasons Delayed

Guard+Maurice+Jones+on+a+run+during+the+2019-20+season.+

Elizabeth Metz

Guard Maurice Jones on a run during the 2019-20 season.

The school district notified BMS and BHS families on Nov. 13 that basketball and wrestling seasons would be delayed until January. 

However, BHS and BMS swimming and diving teams along with the high school’s indoor track team are continuing with their seasons since they are non-contact sports.

Athletic Director Ryan Peters explained why the district decided to delay basketball and wrestling. 

“…The numbers [of COVID-19 cases] continue to grow, [including] our numbers in Beachwood,” he said. “We are starting to see students, family members and staff members test positive.”

“We were concerned,” he added. “Our decision to postpone competitions until January was made because we thought we could help stop the spread of the virus.”

A week after the announcement was made, Cuyahoga County issued a “stay at home” order and the middle and high schools went to fully remote instruction until January.

During the delay of their seasons, basketball and wrestling teams are allowed to practice and do everything they would normally do except participate in competitions. 

Peters also explained that several other school districts were making similar decisions. 

Neighboring schools and schools that we were competing against came back with a lot of positive cases…We decided to put the brakes on, regroup and get everyone healthy before we move forward.”

— Athletic Director Ryan Peters

“Neighboring schools and schools that we were competing against came back with a lot of positive cases…” he said. “We decided to put the brakes on, regroup and get everyone healthy before we move forward.”

Beachwood administrators consulted with other schools in the Chagrin Valley Conference (CVC) about delaying the winter season. 

“We spoke with other schools in the CVC,” Peters said. “A lot of schools are doing similar things.”

“Some schools are going as far as January like us, and some are looking at it from a two-week perspective,” he added. “We truly felt that this was in the best interest of our students and community.”

Peters expects these winter sports to return in January. 

“We have every intention to begin in January. If things get more out of hand than they already are, then we will regroup and look at it more closely,” he added. “It is our true aspiration to make sure that competitions resume in January.” 

When the seasons resume, athletes should expect some adjustments. 

“It will not be a typical winter season as this is not a typical year,” Peters said. “The boys and girls basketball season will not be a 22-game season.”

“For wrestling there are normally a lot of matches in December, and as a result of postponing, we will not be able to get everything that was previously scheduled,” he added. “We will try to give our athletes and their families the best opportunity at success.”

Peters feels the fall sports season went relatively well.

“There was no evidence that COVID-19 spread in the fall sports,” he said. “I thought the fall season went very well.” 

“Our coaches, athletes and families all did a great job of protecting themselves,” he added. “From my understanding we did not have any student athletes test positive in the fall.”

Winter sports are more difficult to implement safely during the pandemic because they are inside. 

“As we begin to move sports inside, there is more of a hesitation and concern,” Peters said. “You [have]  more close contact [interactions] indoors and cannot breathe fresh air like you were able to with outdoor sports.” 

The winter season will include similar precautions to those implemented in the fall.

“We are making it mandatory for everyone to wear a similar mask,” Peters said. “Each team will have a team specific mask to give them more of an identity.”

“At the high school level we are only allowing two parents for each student to go to games,” he added. “There will be assigned seating and the cheerleaders will not travel, which is a CVC rule.” 

“We will have assigned seats for basketball players so they will sit in the same chair every single game,” he added. “On the chair we will have a pouch for players to store their mask when they are in the game.”

Senior boys basketball guard Maurice Jones was shocked when he heard that the season was postponed. 

“I really didn’t know if I would be able to play my senior year,” he said.

In the meantime, he is lifting and conditioning to stay in shape. 

As we begin to move sports inside, there is more of a hesitation and concern. You [have]  more close contact [interactions] indoors and cannot breathe fresh air like you were able to with outdoor sports.”

— Peters

Senior girls basketball star Madison Prince was not as surprised. 

“I honestly expected it because I heard the cases were going up,” she said. “I’m upset because I will not experience a true senior year.”

Prince said she is staying active whether it be by walking, jogging or working out. 

Senior wrestler Corey Reidenbach also reacted to the season being delayed. 

“I’m disappointed,” he said. “However, I am excited to have more time to train and better myself for my senior season.”

Peters explained that off-season practices for spring sports are also being postponed.

“We are not giving those teams permission to use our facilities to practice until at least January,” he said. 

“Our main goal is to make sure we are keeping our students safe and healthy,” he added.

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