Home Local Sports RCS officials give athletics green light amid COVID-19 restrictions

RCS officials give athletics green light amid COVID-19 restrictions

HAMLET — The Richmond County Schools spring sports season still has the green light, Superintendent Jeff Maples confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

A day after North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, the disease which is caused by coronavirus, RCS officials and principals met to determine protocols for RCS students and staff.

In an email, Maples said the decision by Cooper “will have several immediate effects on our school district.” He added the action(s) at the state and district levels will enable officials to “take extra measures to protect the public.”

Maples made it clear that RCS’ “top priority is the safety and well-being of our students, staff and community.”

Effective immediately and until further notice from RCS, several travel restrictions have been put in place.

All out-of-state and out-of-district field trips and travel by RCS students and staff have been canceled, per Maples’ email.

However, travel by student-athletes, coaches and other members of RCS’ athletic programs will be permitted to travel to in-state competitions and sporting events. 

Maples added that the schedules and games of Richmond Senior High School’s athletic programs are “subject to guidance from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.”

No mention was made of middle school sports in his email.

RCS became the most recent school district to put safety measures in place, joining Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, which announced suspending all travel for students and staff on Tuesday.

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Duke University and the University of North Carolina, along with its 17 total campuses, extended spring break until March 22, and will resume indefinite online and alternative classes starting March 23.

“We will continue to monitor and update district-level events that may be impacted,” Maples said. “School events held on campus will continue at the principal’s discretion.”

Richmond Senior currently has seven varsity and three junior varsity spring sports programs participating in games and matches (baseball, boys’ golf, girls’ soccer, softball, boys’ tennis and boys’ and girls’ track and field).

“We will continue to remind our school community that the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same preventions that are recommended for the spread of the flu and the common cold,” Maples closed.  

“We encourage students, staff and school visitors to follow proper handwashing and sanitation practices to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.”

Maples provided two additional links from the CDC and NCDHHS at the end of his email for more information concerning COVID-19:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/diseases/COVID19.html

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Kyle Pillar is a nine-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.