With the recent switch to complete online instruction, athletes throughout the district were regretfully informed that athletics would also be suspended during this time. This would mean that teams would be set far behind their competitors, and would have to wait an additional two weeks to compete upon returning to school, per WPIAL practice rules. Many members of the community did not agree with this, and it was a hot topic at Wednesday’s school board meeting. After voices were heard, including Laura Grimm’s, Ringgold’s Athletic Director, a vote amongst the board took place, resulting in a 4:3 ruling in favor of the continuation of athletics during the shutdown.
Ringgold High School has been very cautious and disciplined in the fight against COVID-19, having just 1 reported case in the High School. Unfortunately, this case resulted in the Lady Rams Soccer Team being forced to forfeit their playoff game in the fall. After this major disappointment, the athletic department has been taking even more cautionary measures to prevent this from happening to another team.
According to members of the community, Grimm specifically had a substantial impact on the board’s decision. She says, “Our intention going in was to get our coaches and student athletes back to doing what they love, as long as we can provide a safe environment for which to do it.”
Earlier in the year, the district released guidelines and procedures for all teams to follow. Grimm also remarks, “As far as the safety of the athletes is concerned, we will continue to strictly adhere to our district’s health and safety plan as well as follow all guidelines available from the entities that govern us at both the state and local levels. There is also a burden of responsibility on our coaches and student athletes to make good decisions when they are away from campus….” All coaches and athletes can not wait to get back into their seasons, with practices expected to start as early as Friday.