Springfield High School has opted to postpone all extracurricular activities on campus until further notice.
The announcement came in posts on the school’s Facebook pages for football and baseball shortly after Gov. John Bel Edwards’ news conference Saturday in which he announced he’ll sign an executive order mandating the use of masks statewide as the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the state continue to rise.
“With all the cases continuing to go up, I just feel like the odds of us starting and having athletics here in a few weeks are kind of slim if we don’t get the numbers to reduce,” Springfield principal Spencer Harris said. “So I just felt like we needed to go ahead and back off on the athletics for a little bit and try to slow down the spread in our area.”
Livingston Parish schools began summer workouts June 9 after schools were shut down statewide in March, followed by the cancellation of the spring sports season April 9. Harris said all of Springfield’s sports teams were working out and conditioning in some form under guidelines put forth in Phase II.
“I would love to be able to start school on time, and even if it is in some type of reduced capacity, and that’s kind of my focus right now,” Harris said. “I don’t believe athletics will start right away. I do believe that we’ll have athletics this fall, but I don’t believe that we will be in Phase III, which the governor will require for us to start full-fledged football practices and things. The only way we’re going to get to move forward is if we slow the progress of the spreading of this COVID right now.”
The state’s mask mandate will go into effect Monday and continue through Phase II, which is set to conclude July 24 unless it is extended again.
“I’m not claiming to have all this scientific information or know anything,” Harris said. “I just know that as long as the cases keep going up, then we’re not going to get to play sports this fall. I think as a state, we need to slow down a little bit and hopefully we can get a hold of this thing. Like it or not, agree with it or not, as long as they document more cases, the governor’s not going to move us to the next phase, and that’s what it requires for us to be able to participate in sports.”