Home Local Sports Ellerbe Middle School prepares for return of athletics

Ellerbe Middle School prepares for return of athletics

File Photo: Ellerbe's Rider Craven and Jake Richardson compete in a cross country meet at Hinson Lake last fall.
Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ELLERBE — Richmond County Schools is planning to reinstate middle school athletics on Nov. 18 and Ellerbe Middle School’s athletic department wants its student-athletes to be ready.

Allen Adeimy, Ellerbe’s athletic director and head baseball coach, noted the first two sports to be offered in the revised athletic calendar will be girls’ volleyball and co-ed cross country. Both sports will be available for eligible sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

In an email to the county’s four middle school athletic directors, RCS associate superintendent Dennis Quick informed them that middle school athletics will model the guidelines set by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

“Middle school sports will be different this year, with shorter seasons and fewer games,” Adeimy said. “Please be patient as we navigate through CDC and NCHSAA requirements for COVID.”

Some of Richmond County’s middle school students are slated to return to in-classroom instruction on Nov. 16, the result of a survey issued by the district last month. Whether student-athletes are in class or remain virtual learners, it won’t impact their ability to play sports.

“Sports are open to both in-person and virtual students,” Adeimy said. “All students need their own transportation to and from tryouts and practices. Students must come dressed for practice since locker rooms are not available, and must bring their own drinks.

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“(Athletes) should bring a mask and respect all requests to comply with COVID protocols,” he added.

Adeimy asked for parents and student-athletes to “please be patient” with the new protocols, as the Wildcat athletic program is traversing the new guidelines for the first time.

The biggest to-do for student-athletes ahead of returning to athletic workouts is to have a valid sports physical, medical history form and concussion form. Athletes with physicals dated between March 1, 2019, and May 2, 2020, do not need new physicals and are eligible for the new athletic season.

Adeimy noted that all three forms will be available to pick up at Ellerbe when progress reports are handed out this week. Coaching volleyball this season will be first-year head coach Laura Greene, and Julie Warner will return for her fourth season as the boys and girls cross country coach.

A meeting for middle school coaches will be held at the district’s central office on Thursday, with Richmond Senior High School coaches available to assist with reinstatement protocols and NCHSAA guidelines. No information on schedules or opponents has been released at this time.

For specific questions regarding Ellerbe Middle School’s return to play, Adeimy said the school’s front office can be contacted at 910-582-7925.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.