CANTON — Over the past three days, the list of school districts no longer fielding fall sports teams in Section 10 due to concerns with possible coronavirus outbreaks has more than doubled.
Does that mean that the 2020 Northern Athletic Conference soccer and cross country seasons are on the verge of shutting down a week before they were already scheduled to end?
“Yes,” responded Section 10 Athletics Executive Director Carl Normandin. “As of now, it is being left up to the districts as to whether they want to continue.”
Up until last weekend, only a handful of the 24 districts competing in the NAC had experienced postponements and cancellations due to the ongoing pandemic that has now claimed nearly 240,000 lives in the United States.
As of Monday night, the number of schools no longer choosing to field teams at the varsity level had grown to 13, with the likelihood of more deciding to close down their seasons by today.
Gouverneur and Harrisville were the first two districts forced to cut their seasons short two weeks ago. In the past three days, all of the schools competing in the section out of Franklin County — Brushton-Moira, Chateaugay, Malone, Salmon River, St. Regis Falls and Tupper Lake — have announced they would no longer be competing in NAC games and meets.
Also recently added to the growing list were Massena Central, Ogdensburg Free Academy and Parishville-Hopkinton.
According to Normandin, as of Monday night, the only two schools left in the NAC Central Division were Canton and Potsdam, while Colton-Pierrepont, Madrid-Waddington and St. Lawrence were the three schools remaining out of the eight competing in the East Division. With the exception of Harrisville, the other West Division schools were still on the list of participants, including Edwards-Knox, Hammond, Hermon-DeKalb, Heuvelton, Lisbon, Morristown and Norwood-Norfolk. Clifton-Fine wasn’t scheduled to field varsity boys and girls soccer teams this fall.
Some of the remaining school districts are reportedly looking into scheduling what would be nonleague games through the rest of the fall sports season, which was slated to end Sunday.
The varsity cross country season was due to end Saturday with the NAC interdivisional meet, which was also going to be used as the basis for determining the various Section 10 class champions. The meet was scheduled to be hosted by Malone, but with the district going fully remote as of Monday, officials doubt the races can be held on the Huskies’ campus. Since only four of the 11 schools that field varsity cross country teams would be eligible to compete, the meet will likely be canceled.