School closure shuts down sports

With the closure of South Whidbey schools through April 24 because of the coronavirus, the high school spring sports season is now in limbo.

All athletic programs were shut down as well, and the earliest the Falcons could start competing is Monday, April 27, according to South Whidbey High School Athletic Director Paul Lagerstedt.

The concern then, after a six-week layoff, is if the athletes will be physically ready for play, he said. That could further delay getting back to game action.

South Whidbey is not alone. Coupeville is the only North Sound Conference school still open.

The North Sound Conference athletic directors plan to meet next week to discuss the situation, but that meeting “will probably create more questions than answers,” Lagerstedt said.

“There is no telling what the WIAA will do,” he added.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association governs state high school sports and their state tournaments.

If the state tournaments are held at the currently scheduled dates, the North Sound Conference, with its reduced schedule, will need to decide how postseason slots are allocated.

In individual sports like track, golf and tennis, the short season should not complicate the selection process because allocations are determined by end-of-the-season league and district meets and tournaments.

For team sports like baseball, softball and soccer, postseason seeding is determined by the league standings. If not all league games are played — and they won’t be — then a different format will need to be used to determine postseason berths, Lagerstedt said.

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Most of the 2020 seniors are included in this photo taken for last spring’s South Whidbey High School sports program. Front row: junior Lara Napoli, junior Tayla Hymas, junior Lexi Wenzek, senior Chandra Wallace. Middle row: junior Sadie Wilson, senior McKenna Kelley, senior Ashley Ricketts, Joanie Welever, senior Alison Papritz. Back row: senior Ashley Ricketts, senior Chloe Loehr, senior Annika LeWarne, senior Oliana Stange, senior Jenna Pfeiffer, junior Laila Gmerek. (Photo by Jim Waller/Whidbey News-Times)
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