Canby sports ready, hopeful for competition seasons
If Canby High's sports teams get a chance to compete this school year, they will be ready.
The teams have been practicing — largely thanks to Athletic Director Ben Winegar for wading through and implementing the guidance to keep athletes and coaches safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Winegar presented an update on the athletics program at the Nov. 5 school board meeting, and he started by thanking Superintendent Trip Goodall for allowing athletics to go forward.
"As we know, between March and now, our world has really changed, and our students were affected extremely," Winegar said. "Being able to do these little, teeny things have been a really big deal for us, and it's been a really big deal for kids."
The focus of the athletics department throughout the pandemic has been its own mission statement, which is, "to develop lifelong athletes who possess a healthy lifestyle, positive character, individual drive and a mindset that promotes continuous personal growth."
Winegar pointed out that to fulfill the mission, competitions are not necessarily required, and that has helped provide a positive perspective as competitions are currently delayed.
But the Oregon School Activities Association does have a plan in place to get the ball rolling. They broke the school year down into four seasons:
· Season 1: unofficial, at the discretion of the local school district
· Season 2: winter sports including basketball, swimming and wrestling beginning Dec. 28
· Season 3: fall sports including football, soccer, volleyball and cross-country beginning Feb. 22
· Season 4: spring sports including baseball, softball, track, tennis and golf beginning April 19
Canby held a successful season 1 with participation numbers for most sports meeting last year's numbers, according to Winegar.
Now it's on to season 2, but much is uncertain. Currently, two of the season-2 sports, basketball and wrestling, are prohibited because of the contact involved.
The OSAA board meets Dec. 7, and Winegar said a decision on season 2 sports is expected by then or even before.
Along with basketball and wrestling, also football, soccer, lacrosse and rugby are considered contact sports and are therefore uncertain at this point. But that is not stopping Canby's teams.
"As our football coach brought up, I think it was in June, he goes, 'You know, I don't know when we're going to play, but I do know that we'll be ready,'" Winegar said. "And so, that's the constant mentality in almost all of our sports. You know what, we don't know when we're going to play, but we're going to keep getting ready."
If sports are given the green light, Winegar said the district is already thinking about ways to involve the community even as fan numbers are expected to be limited, at a minimum. The district is preparing to broadcast sporting events from the gymnasium and the stadium through the Pixellot system and hopefully continuing through the local CTV-5.
"Our goal is to make it the most memorable experience," Winegar said. "Even in this world, 20 years from now, we want to make sure that our students look back and know that we did everything we could to serve them. That's the biggest message that I come to work with every day."
Board members Sara Magenheimer and Angi Dilkes, along with Goodall, took the time to thank Winegar for his work.
"I know students and parents have really appreciated being able to have a little bit of normal when things are not so normal," Magenheimer said.
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