Activities directors remaining positive, remaining ready
Will Crockett's message is one of optimism.
"We are going to be hopeful, we are going to positive," said Crockett, who serves Activities Director at Turner Ashby High School. "That's all we really can control."
For Crockett, and those in his same position around the Commonwealth of Virginia, it's been a trying time. Schools in Virginia are currently closed with facilities shut down in response to COVID-19. All VHSL athletics practices and games are delayed until at least March 30.
"Nothing like I have ever dealt with," said Tim Leach, the Activities Director at Spotswood High School. "To be completely shut down with everything, it's kind of eerie a little bit but we are just trying to figure out the best move."
In the most recent information released by the VHSL on March 14, the organization said the entire spring sports season has not been cancelled, as of now. For many athletics administrators, a current focus is keeping facilities up to date and in proper shape while teams are not using them.
"While we are out of school the grass is still growing," said Leach. "We have to find a way to get that mowed and keep that up as much as we can so we don't cause ourselves a lot more work when we get back."
Getting back to competition is something both Leach and Crockett are optimistic will happen. But like many facets of life when it comes to COVID-19, it's very much a fluid situation.
"We would be able to resume on the 30th but I am sure there is going to be an evaluation period before that to see if that's an appropriate time to resume," said Crockett. "Honestly, since this is such an unusual situation, it really is just wait and see."
While many schools are awaiting more guidance from the VHSL, some areas have already extended the timeline for spring sports postponements. Shenandoah County Public Schools recently announced all spring sports activities are shut down until April 14. This announcement affects Central High School, Strasburg High School, and Stonewall Jackson High School.
If VHSL spring sports competition is able to resume in 2020, the schedule would likely be condensed with priority placed on district competition.
"The challenge is going to be when so many divisions are doing different things," said Leach. "I anticipate, if and when we do get back (to competition), everyone will just play a limited district schedule because you manipulate those district schedules a little bit better and play teams in your own backyard."
In the meantime, with so many unknowns surrounding high school sports and athletics as whole, administrators, coaches, and athletes can only hope for the best.
"We want our kids to stay prepared to the best of their ability but stay healthy as well," said Crockett. "We are going to stay positive and be hopeful that this thing works out."