Vermont high school athletics have once again been put on hold.
Winter sports were set to begin practicing on Nov. 30, but Gov. Phil Scott announced during a press conference on Tuesday that date must be pushed back indefinitely due to the rising number of positive coronavirus tests throughout the state.
“Based on our current data, unfortunately, we will be postponing the start of school sports that were set to start on Nov. 30,” Scott said.
“Like recreational sports, (school sports) are paused until further notice. We will review it again each week,” Scott said.
Recreational sports throughout Vermont have been suspended since Nov. 14.
Basketball, dance, gymnastics, hockey, Nordic skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding were the sports set to begin its seasons on Monday.
Two other winter sports, wrestling and indoor track, had already been canceled back on Nov. 3 due to concerns associated with the spread of the coronavirus.
The decision leaves local athletes without a clear timeline on when or if their winter sport season will begin. Burr and Burton athlete Emmett Edwards is a three-sport athlete for the Bulldogs. After wrapping up a shortened soccer season this fall, Edwards is concerned about the fate of his junior ice hockey season.
“I understand the governor’s decision,” Edwards wrote in a message on Twitter. “Although I do not like it, it won’t change my mindset going into the season and it will hopefully motivate me even more to prepare myself for the upcoming season.”
Champlain Valley athletic director Dan Shepardson wrote on Twitter that athletic directors throughout the state and the Vermont Principals Association were told the week-by-week decision on whether to allow winter sports to begin or continue to push back the start date is based on the “data/metrics.”
Scott will either announce the delay is continued during his Dec. 1 press conference or sports will be allowed to begin practicing Dec. 7, according to Shepardson.
Jan. 11 remains the start date for competition at this time. Whether that date remains or is pushed back will rely on when practices are allowed to begin.
Scott urged Vermonters to avoid social gatherings.
“It’s my hope that adults will realize the need to sacrifice in order to give our kids this important time in their life,” Scott said.