Disappointed and confused: that’s the reaction from parents and players of high school sports just hours after the CIAC decided Friday to pause all fall sports until at least Aug. 24.
The CIAC says it will take time to meet with the Department of Public Health (DPH) to review the recommendations they sent the CIAC Thursday. In those recommendations, the DPH advised a cautious approach, supporting some sports but not all. They proposed postponing or canceling volleyball and football.
“I just want to play football. That’s all I want to do,” said Jayden Colon, a senior captain on the Manchester High School Football team.
Colon is anxiously waiting for the CIAC to finalize a decision regarding high school football this year.
“Not being able to have a sure answer of when we’re going to start is just draining for us,” he said.
On Monday, the CIAC Football Committee recommended postponing football until the spring. The CIAC rejected that recommendation Wednesday and said games would be played in the fall. Now there is uncertainty.
“I understand that it’s all chaotic right now but I wish they could just make a decision because the season’s creeping up on us,” said Ben Poudrier, a senior leader on RHAM’s football team.
Poudrier’s mother said she agrees with the CIAC’s earlier decision to play. This after reading the CIAC’s guidelines and evaluating the current Connecticut COVID-19 infection rate.
“With the numbers as good as they are in Connecticut, it can’t seem to get much better than it is now,” said Sue Poudrier. “So if they can’t play now, when are they going to play?”
As the CIAC reviews DPH recommendations, all fall sports are paused. This includes sports the DPH says are okay, like soccer.
“We know the season might be cut short. We don’t even know if we’re gonna have it,” said Jackson Kupferschmid, a captain on Ellington’s soccer team.
Kupferschmid will be a senior this year on the Ellington team played in the state championship for the past two years.
“This could be our year so it would definitely be a huge disappointment if we lost our season to COVID-19,” said Kupferschmid.
Athletes who spoke with NBC Connecticut say they still plan to condition and train on their own as if the season were still going to continue. Coaches could conduct virtual conditioning over the next ten days.
The CIAC has offered to meet with the DPH next week.