OSWEGO, N.Y. — In September, the Board of Education for the Oswego City School District voted four to three in favor of conducting low and moderate risk sports this Fall.
“It was just really taken into consideration of how can we do this and how can we do this with the utmost safety for everybody,” Director of Athletics, Rhonda Bullard, said as she was discussing the decision process.
As a part of the Board’s decision, the District opted out of all modified and JV level sports. Therefore, only select sports at the varsity level will be played this season.
“I think the board of education said, you know what, let’s kinda crawl back into this,” Bullard said. “We’ll offer our varsity only sports that the state has approved could happen in the fall season and we’ll just work through that.”
However, aside from the health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, Oswego also had to consider a return to play from a logistical standpoint. Much of their athletic facilities are under construction as a part of the District’s Capital Project that was approved in 2018.
“I think the hardest thing for people to digest right now is that everybody sees the new turf field but it’s still under construction,” Bullard said.
The new state-of-the-art athletic complex at the high school is projected to be finished at the end of November, but the Board’s decision alone has athletes eager to get back to work. Although, most participation includes new precautionary measures.
“Practices are different for sure because we have to wear the masks the whole time, which makes it a lot difficult to breath but we do get mask breaks every 20 minute or so,” senior soccer player, Joe Diblasi said.
Athletes do not want these new changes to define their seasons. Many of them are trying to remain positive about having the opportunity to play.
“There’s nothing that’s too hard to bounce back from, I guess. Anything, any setbacks, are always possible for you to overcome,” Diblasi said.