Harford County Public Schools won’t start competitive high school sports seasons again until February, the school system announced Thursday, but it will begin “virtual athletics” on Oct. 12.
Student-athletes can begin registering for sports Monday on HCPS.org.
Harford schools will start offering in-person conditioning, training and intramural sports on Nov. 16.
The plan was created by high school principals, athletic directors, the supervisor of athletics, executive director and director of secondary education, and HCPS student-athletes, according to a message sent to parents. The plan also includes sport-specific weekly challenges and competitions for high school athletes to compete until seasons resume in the second semester.
Condensed seasons would begin in February and continue through the end of the school year in June.
“We understand the importance of athletics and other co-educational activities,” the message from HCPS states. “As such, we want to align the introduction of these activities to our overall plan to return to in-person learning.”
The winter competitive sports season, including basketball, wrestling and indoor track, would run from Feb. 1 to March 26.
The fall season would begin March 15 and run through May 7. That would include football, soccer, field hockey, golf, cross country and volleyball. Traditional spring sports like baseball, softball, lacrosse and track and field would begin April 26 and conclude June 18.
Longtime North Harford golf coach Nick Panos said, “It’s so difficult, it’s historic times, it’s very difficult for anybody to have a perfect answer obviously, so I guess I’m looking at the safety to me and I’m a guy with a pre-existing condition, I have Leukemia.”
Panos says he’s treated every month or two and it’s a chronic issue, but he had concerns. “I have to admit, I would be nervous riding in buses, I want to avoid getting this stuff personally, because I don’t know how I will react,” he said.
Fallston High School junior Tyler Little said, “Everything needs to be safe, so I think this is a good idea until everybody gets used to going to school right now. This would be a good opportunity to just jump back into school and not have to deal with sports right away."
Aberdeen junior Allie Berger was also pleased that sports were held off. “I like it because it gives us an opportunity to fully have a season because if something came up during the middle of Fall, we may lose our season completely,” she said. “It gives us a full opportunity to prepare for our season, too.”
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All dates are contingent on local health metrics staying within the same targets needed for in-person learning. Dates will be revised if data moves beyond the target range, according to the school system.