Officials on NYSED guidance for school sports

[anvplayer video=”5049811″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Schools are prepared to head back five days a week in person, and student-athletes have been gearing up to play.

With new recommended guidance on sports from the New York State Education Department, it’s possible the fields could stay empty.

"We went through this last year, and I think it was really detrimental to the student-athletes from a mental and physical perspective,” said Aquinas Institute Head Football Coach Derek Annechino.

Sports teams around Monroe County are prepping for this new game-changer. The new recommendations say schools in areas of high community transmission should cancel or hold high-risk sports and extra-circular activities virtually unless all participants are vaccinated.

"I personally realize vaccines are a choice among a family, if a family asked me and a couple of them have I tell them if you want my opinion I’ll give it to you,” Annechino said.

Superintendents say they’re hoping for Friday night lights and other sports to resume, but we’re in the same position now as we were last year with high transmission rates.

"With football and some of the other sports that we weren’t able to play in the fall and the regular season because we were high at that time, I’m hoping to have everyone back its good for the athletes and its good for the parents too,” said Greece Board President Sean McCabe.

Coaches say the only thing that matters is the wellness of everyone; not being able to play would be devastating, but there are positive takeaways.

"They can also look at it as a way to build character and grow and survive through hardship. We can work on the other things like the mental health and trying to keep them positive and hopefully give them the opportunity to play the sport they love,” Annechino added.

News10NBC reached out to more than a dozen athletic directors in the area who said they’re not ready to comment on which parts of the guidance they are going to adopt yet.

Monroe County Council of School Superintendents President Bo Wright released the following statement Friday:

"The New York State Education Department has made a number of recommendations regarding the reopening of schools. Many of these suggestions align with guidance we have seen from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, it is up to school districts throughout the state to decide how to proceed. Every district has its own circumstances to consider and their plans will be shared as soon as possible. At this time, we have no indication that fall sports will be negatively impacted by the department of education’s recommendations. Along with the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, we continue to monitor the situation. Local districts remain committed to reopening in-person five days a week."