As of now, Powhatan's overall spring season has not been cancelled

With the Powhatan County Public Schools system making the decision Thursday, March 12 to shut down the schools for two weeks starting on Monday, March 16 as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), all Powhatan High School athletic activities have been cancelled through Friday, March 27, athletic director Tim Llewellyn confirmed on Friday, March 13.

“We are treating these two weeks just like one of the dead periods that our coaches and athletes are used to,” Llewellyn said in a written correspondence. “I don’t anticipate making up any of these games.”

While Powhatan staff, faculty and students are still currently slated to return to school on March 30, games for the week of March 30 – April 4 will also be cancelled so that teams can get in a week of practice before playing games.

Powhatan baseball’s games in the Mingo Bay Baseball Classic tournament, originally scheduled for the week of Spring Break (April 6-10), have been cancelled as well.

As it currently stands, the new opening day for Powhatan High School spring sports will be Tuesday, April 14.

Llewellyn on Friday said that spring sports have not been cancelled for the overall 2020 season.

“It is my hope to get our spring sports student-athletes back playing as soon as we can,” Llewellyn wrote. “Obviously this is new territory for us and the information seems to be changing daily, if not hourly, and we will update our plans accordingly with the situation.

“Our goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy and get back to practicing and playing when possible.”

The school closures and subsequent suspension of athletic activities are among nationwide efforts to limit large social gatherings and slow the spread of the novel virus.

After the NBA on Thursday, March 12 announced the temporary suspension of its season, the NCAA on the same day cancelled its remaining winter and spring NCAA championships, including wrestling. Virginia Tech’s Collin Gerardi, a redshirt freshman from Powhatan, had qualified for the NCAA wrestling championships in his first season in the team’s starting lineup.

The Virginia High School League cancelled the remainder of its high school basketball championships, declaring the remaining teams in Classes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 co-champions (John Marshall defeated Gate City in Class 2).

On Sunday, March 15, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all gatherings of more than 50 people, including sporting events, be cancelled for the next eight weeks. That's led to further postponements by professional sports organizations, as Major League Baseball has pushed back its opening day to a date that will be determined at a later time, and NASCAR has postponed its races at Atlanta, Homestead, Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega and Dover, with the next race to take place at Martinsville on Saturday, May 9.

How this recommendation will affect the overall Virginia High School League spring season remains to be seen. After agreeing to delay the first play date of the 2020 spring season to Monday, March 30, the VHSL Crisis Management Committee as of now is scheduled to meet again Wednesday, March 25 and re-evaluate conditions as they stand.

The original spring sports first play date was scheduled for Monday, March 16.

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