GASTON — Northampton County, recognized by many in prep football circles as a pillar of the 1A East, will not conduct a fall sports calendar.
So goes 2020, yet again.
The determination, cast earlier this week by school board officials following a full-stop review of academic re-entry amidst the COVID-19 crisis, was communicated to the Herald on Thursday by NHC athletic director George Privott.
“Basically, we’re going to stay remote (with respect to classroom learning), and also, while we’re remote, we won’t be participating in sports — conditioning or active sports,” Privott said. “Just to be on the safe side … I totally understand. I want everyone to be safe.”
Spanning the calendar
Positioned uniquely at the center of this scenario is the school’s basketball docket — which will not begin on Dec. 7, as planned — but could, given positive shift in virus-related news, pick up after the Christmas holiday.
Emphasis on could, naturally, and with much planning to be considered.
“I’m hoping — and that’s what I told them (the board) — I’m hoping that it’s revisited early enough so that we can have basketball,” Privott said of the season.
Alas, more questions to linger on the vine of 2020 — one wilted, but with reach, it seems, for the New Year.
NCHSAA news, notes
Privott’s reveal coincided with this week’s revisions to the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s 2020-2021 Modified Sports Manual, which addressed health and safety guidelines, football and lacrosse equipment, modifications to cross country, swimming, diving and volleyball, as well as calendar and basic skill development for all other sports.
Interested parties can also peruse regulations for spectatorship, drafted in step with Gov. Roy Cooper’s Oct. 1 statewide issuance.
A full breakout of the amendments can be accessed online at nchsaa.org.
Remixed in navy-and-teal
As has been the case with most prep athletic programs across the nation, the COVID-19 clutch has issued due pause to a surging Jaguar battery, which competed for a state football crown last December and has been substantive across its winter and spring seasons in recent years.
It’s a time, really, of unprecedented change and challenge for Privott, who is mixing new technology with old tropes to lead his football team.
“I’ve been communicating with my guys on Hudl,” the coach said of the digital giant, which helps athletes across the country facilitate the entire prep experience through video analysis, chat and more. “Encouraging them to stay in shape as best they can, stay out of trouble … that’s what I’m encouraging them to do.”