By Andrew Luberda
Copper Basin News
The Hayden-Winkleman Unified School District announced in a Sept. 14 press release that it was canceling fall sports.
“Hayden High School will be canceling all fall sports for the health and safety of student athletes, families, and community,” a subtitle reads in the release signed by HWUSD Superintendent Jeff Greogorich.
The complete release is as follows:
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the Hayden High School will not be participating in fall sports. The concern is that playing sports could increase COVID 19 exposure to our student athletes, families, and community. The safety of everyone outweighs the need to play sports and risks the lives of the most vulnerable in our community.
The school district’s top priority is the health of our students, families, and community. The sacrifice of a high school sport season in the middle of the worst pandemic in 100 years is the most responsible and the right thing to do.
The health risks are too high for our district to play sports which could create a COVID 19 community spread. Unfortunately, the virus has not gone away, and children and adults can become asymptomatic and pass it to others. Athletes could contract COVID 19 and unknowingly pass the virus to family members and they could die. Many of our families are multigeneration which creates an additional health risk. It is simply too dangerous to play fall sports that will risk the safety and lives of our student athletes, families, and community, right now.
Two weeks ago, Hayden football head coach John Estrada told Copper Basin News that the school wasn’t sure if the Lobos would have a 2020 season and that his team had pushed back the start of practice for two weeks.
“The reason for pushing that back is because our area is still in the red per the health department,” Estrada wrote in a text at the time. “If things change in two weeks and we get put in the green then I believe they’ll give us the ok to start practice. If things don’t change, I’m afraid our season may be cancelled. Our superintendent was nice enough to give us an extension verses to cancel the season now. So, we’ll know for sure in a couple of weeks.”
Indeed, now Estrada and the Lobos “know for sure” their season is cancelled. It’s just another of several seemingly inevitabilities amid the many uncertainties during the last six months due to COVID-19.