There will be no high school sports among the Salem-Keizer Public Schools until at least January, the district announced this week.
Because of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, district officials are extending the pause on athletics until at least Jan. 4.
“It’s disappointing because bringing kids in for workouts this fall has been such a great, positive thing,” South Salem athletic director Brian Armstrong said. “I think it gives them a sense of normalcy, especially focusing on their social and emotional heath. Not having that opportunity to bring kids in is disappointing, but I understand the decision.”
Winter sports statewide are set to begin practices on Dec. 28, but Salem-Keizer schools won’t be a part of that.
The OSAA is set to meet next week to discuss possibly moving the start date further back because of the increase in COVID-19 cases.
The OSAA has not held any competitions since March, when the basketball state championship tournaments were canceled after they began.
Students and coaches have been able to hold workouts and practices on campus this fall, until the recent two-week pause was implemented by Gov. Kate Brown.
The OSAA in the summer came up with a plan to hold all three sports seasons, beginning with winter, then fall, then spring. The competitions would be held between January and June.
That plan could be in jeopardy if the start of the winter season is delayed.
“I’m holding out hope, that’s all I can do right now. I miss it. I miss having kids in our building,” Armstrong said. “I miss the energy of setting up a Friday night football game. I miss all that stuff.”