Maryland’s two largest private high school athletic associations released a joint statement Monday morning confirming Friday’s decision to play an open schedule for the fall season.
The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland, which cited that a majority of its member schools have returned for in-person learning, said that the leagues will not provide an official schedule and that schools will have an opportunity to play competition “within the comfort level determined by each school." They added that “the type and amount of activities made available will be at the discretion of each school.”
“The shared focus of the MIAA and IAAM always has been and will remain, to find ways to return student-athletes to the courts and fields of play and to support healthy competition in a safe manner,” the statement continues. "It is our hope that this decision will provide that opportunity under these very trying circumstances.”
Athletic directors in the MIAA planned to meet Monday to discuss their schools' options, while athletic directors of the IAAM will meet Tuesday.
Following Monday’s meeting, MIAA executive director Lee Dove said that the individual schools are still getting questions answered and weighing the option of fall play.
“At this point, we wanted to get something formal out so everybody knew that we were intending to move forward with an open opportunity for our schools,” Dove said. “We’re in conversations right now with ADs. We met this morning to talk about scheduling, who’s ready, who’s not and what this open season will entail.
“Those conversations are continuing right now, so to be able to offer anything more at this point I’d be speaking out of line because I’m not speaking for everyone.”
Here’s what each private school has decided to do:
Annapolis Area Christian School
AACS intends to schedule interscholastic competitions for all of its fall sports. Volleyball, typically an indoor sport, will be played outside on the school’s grass courts. The school in Severn will follow all Anne Arundel return to play guidelines.
While expressing disappointment in not playing a MIAA-sanctioned schedule, Curley shared with its parents that the Baltimore school is in full support of creating competitive opportunities for its fall student-athletes moving forward.
An email to parents stated: “We recognize the important role athletic competition plays in the lives of our student-athletes, their parents and our school community. Therefore, we are working with our peer schools to create meaningful competitive opportunities for our fall student-athletes.”
Bryn Mawr School
Athletic director Tina Veprek said the Baltimore school is proceeding with scheduling “but nothing is firm or finalized yet."
Calvert Hall informed parents on Wednesday that the sports program will be a participant in the “open” fall season with tryouts for the various sports running from Thursday through Monday.
Chapelgate Christian Academy
The Ellicott City school is ready to return to game action as early as next week, according to Director of Athletics Ken Krabitz. The Yellowjackets have five high school fall sports programs — girls volleyball, girls and boys soccer, and girls and boys cross country. The school has been having small team workouts two times a week for all fall sports since August. Krabitz said the hope is to schedule each fall team to play one game a week through Thanksgiving for a total of between five and six games depending on opponent availability.
Concordia Prep is set to return to play for all fall sports, according to a statement released by the program. The Towson school is currently preparing a schedule with the guidance of both the MIAA and IAAM.
Friends School in Baltimore wrote in an email to its community Monday that it will “carefully consider how and if it is possible for Friends School to incorporate interscholastic athletics while still maintaining appropriate protections for our community” once it receives further details about the league’s health and safety protocols.
A message from Matt Micciche, the Head of School, will be released “in the coming days with further details on how we will proceed on this matter.”
The school in Finksburg plans on starting full fall sports practices next week, athletic director Phil Gilotte said. A complete time frame is still being put together, Gilotte said, and there will be safety guidelines and protocols in place going forward. Gilotte said he hopes to be able to schedule eight to 10 games for boys and girls soccer and volleyball, and four to five cross country meets.
Gerstell is looking at five to six weeks of scheduling, Gilotte said, with games slated to begin in early November. Gilotte said Friday, Oct. 30 could be the first play date if he can find opponents on that day. Gerstell will stay within the MIAA and IAAM when it comes to opponents, Gilotte said, to keep things familiar.
Co-athletic directors Lori Bristow and Russell Wrenn said Monday afternoon in an email to Baltimore Sun Media that "we are currently investigating our options under the framework passed by the MIAA, and working with our health committee and community to determine what avenues might be available for us to possibly return to play as safely as possible.”
The plan will be to work toward scheduling games starting in late October or early November through Thanksgiving break, with the potential of adding additional games in December depending on the situation. Volleyball is the only sport currently operating with significant modifications, as practices are being held on outdoor courts.
John Carroll School
The Bel Air school plans to have sports this fall, athletic director Seth Goldberg confirmed Monday.
“Obviously, it’s not necessarily within the MIAA. They’re giving us the ability to face schools who have, feel they can move safely to playing, and we’re going to be building our schedules that way," he said.
The Annapolis school plans to meet later this week to determine its playing status.
Tryouts at the Towson school will begin this week for all varsity and junior varsity fall teams. Each sport’s season will depend on how schedules are structured, which is still being done.
The Owings Mills school will not be playing sports this fall, according to an email the McDonogh administration sent to parents Monday morning.
“After careful consideration, and upon the recommendation of our Medical Advisory Board, we have made the decision that McDonogh will not schedule games this fall," the statement read.
The Northern Parkway school will be competing in all fall sports and have already completed tryouts.
Mount Saint Joseph
Mount Saint Joseph wrote in a statement Tuesday that it plans to play the majority of their fall sports during the open season.
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“Since our local COVID positivity rates have been encouraging, Mount Saint Joseph will pursue an open season for football, soccer, cross country, and volleyball,” read the statement. “Given the difficulty of wearing a mask while swimming, water polo will move their season to the spring of 2021.”
Tryouts will begin on Oct. 19. Winter sports are set to begin Jan. 4, and spring sports will begin Feb. 16.
St. Frances Academy
The Baltimore school will not return to play this fall and instead will move their fall sports to spring 2021, according to athletic director Nicholas Myles. Their varsity football team will play independent from the MIAA, and JV football and girls varsity volleyball will play alongside the spring sports teams.