New NCHSAA Calendar = New Obstacles

Lifestyle, Sports

The NCHSAA Board of Directors met last night via zoom and were able to come up with an amended calendar for the 2020-2021 season.

The decision to amend the 2020-2021 sports calendar was not one that was taken lightly, as the NCHSAA was guided by the NFHS and others in order to make a properly informed decision.

The first practice date for football has been pushed back all the way to February 8th, with the first game coming February 26th. Another big change to the football season is that all NCHSAA teams will only play 7 games this season, with the final contest date set for April 9th.

The first practice date for Basketball will be December 7th, and the first game will be January 4th. Basketball will only play 14 games this season.

Now that we have an updated schedule and something to look at and plan around, is how are these small schools going to work around this new schedule with everything being right on top of one another? Do not get me wrong, I think that its great that we are going to be playing every sport (with the exception of indoor track) but I think this is really something we need to look at and prepare for.

We are going to end up having some overlap in one way or another when it comes to these shortened seasons, but I do think that the NCHSAA did the best that they could. However, with this overlap, we need to think about the multi-sport, small school athletes who are playing every sport that they can. This year, if a female student-athlete plays volleyball and then wants to play basketball, she will find that very hard to do as Volleyball season runs from November 4th into January 8th, and basketball overlaps that running from December 7th, through February 19th.

I do not think that this is going to be a major problem, but I do think that it is important to keep these multi-sport kids in mind when we get back in the swing of things, as they might be spread a little thin.

North Carolina rural educators get support for remote learning

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North Carolina Rural Educators

RALEIGH: More than 1,300 educators from rural North Carolina participated in a virtual conference focused on remote learning to help them be better prepared to teach throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Cooper opened the REAL(Remote Education and Leadership) Conference and gave the welcoming remarks via a video message.

“When we had to close schools for in person learning in March, you were quick to adapt, staying connected to your students and making sure they continued to get the best education possible,” Governor Cooper told the participating educators. “I appreciate your efforts to help address the challenges to remote learning and help students get connected to stay on track in their studies.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic schools across North Carolina switched to remote learning in the spring and many students will continue to learn remotely as the new school year begins. Remote learning can be especially challenging in rural communities due to a lack of internet access and other technology resources and funding challenges.

The REAL Conference offered a professional development opportunity for rural educators designed by rural educators. At the conference, rural educators got the opportunity to learn best practices in remote learning and discuss how to addressing unique challenges faced by rural educators.

Participating educators chose from over 40 sessions throughout the day covering all grade levels. Sessions provided first-hand experience of remote learning tools and best practices. Topics included: Virtual STEAM: Hands-On Learning at Home; Digital Tools to Support Distance Learning; Accessible Remote Learning for Exceptional Learners; Connecting with Disconnected Students; Mindfulness-Based Social Emotional Learning; How to Assess Learning Games; Ed Puzzle: Actively Engaging Students with Videos; Bitmoji Interactive Lessons in Google Slides; Museum Learning Opportunities; and multiple topics on Google Classroom. Dr. Mary Hemphill, former superintendent of Scotland County Public Schools and current director of K-12 Computer Science at the NC Department of Public Instruction, gave the keynote address.

Educators and parents can view the recording of the REAL Conference HERE.

Conference hosts included the North Carolina Business Committee on Education (NCBCE), a nonprofit housed in the Governor’s Office, along with Governor Cooper’s Hometown Strong initiative for rural North Carolina, the Department of Public Instruction and the NC Virtual Public Schools.

When schools transitioned to remote learning, NCBCE partnered with Hometown Strong to launch the Remote Learning Working Group) to help improve remote learning in rural counties by getting more students connected to the internet and helping educators adapt to teaching remotely. The Working Group includes experts in education and technology from the public and private sectors.

Content for the REAL Conference was developed by the Remote Learning Working Group as well as a team of educators from rural North Carolina: Joseph Hayes from Edgecombe County Schools, Sonia Boone from Halifax County Schools, Kristy Marslander from Hyde County Schools, Heather Herron from Swain County Schools and Wendy Harrell and Phyllis King from Robeson County Schools.

Thanks to Google, Smithfield Foods, AT&T, Fidelity Investments, Dell, American Tower, and Tony Brown of Public Consulting Group for their sponsorship of the REAL Conference through NCBCE.

Quote from members of the Remote Learning Working Group:

“Google is excited to help facilitate this important conversation between educators, the business community and state leaders regarding remote learning—a challenge that is top of mind for nearly everyone as we approach a new school year,” said Lilyn Hester, Head of External Affairs – Southeast, Google and leader of the Remote Learning Working Group. “We look forward to discussing solutions to ensure our children have the connectivity required to keep their education on track.”

Dr. Eric Cunningham, Superintendent of Halifax County Schools said, “The REAL Conference, the remote learning conference focused on supporting North Carolina’s rural educators provides a much-needed benefit for rural school systems. Halifax County Schools will benefit greatly. Our teachers are excited and ready to participate.”

Dr. Steve Basnight, Superintendent of Hyde County Public Schools said, “I want to thank all the fantastic educators who worked to make the REAL Conference a reality. This will provide a tremendous opportunity for our staff to receive professional development on remote learning and collaborate with other educators right before we begin our teacher workdays to open the new school year!”

About the North Carolina Business Committee for Education:

The North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) is a business-led, education non-profit (501-c3) that operates out of the Office of the Governor. Since 1983, NCBCE has provided a critical link between North Carolina business leaders and the state’s education decision makers, helping to create connections between the education curriculum and the overall work readiness of citizens across the state. Learn more at ncbce.org.

About Hometown Strong:

Governor Cooper created Hometown Strong to build partnerships between state agencies and local leaders to champion rural communities. The effort leverages state and local resources, identifies ongoing projects and community needs and implements focused plans to boost the economy, improve infrastructure and strengthen North Carolina’s hometowns.

 

 

 

 

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Scoring Points: Football for NC and GA pushed back

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Scoring Points, meeting, sports setbacks, basketball, fake fans

The Georgia High School Association held a private meeting earlier today to discuss the upcoming fall football season start dates and schedules. The meeting was not broadcast publicly, but according to sources the competition date for football will be pushed back for two weeks, but the football conditioning and all other sports starting dates are unchanged.

The first football games will be held on labor day weekend, with scrimmages on August 21 and 28.

There will be a full regular season and a full playoff schedule as of right now.

Practice will begin next Monday, with pads starting August 1.

North Carolina has some of the same things, pushing back their start date 2 weeks to September 1, to allow players and coaches a chance to get a grip on things.

Personally, I think that this postponement of the season is probably going to end up being a good thing. With pro sports starting back up and everything, it will give the high schools something they can look at and model after, as long as those professional sports end up going over well.

I think that the postponement was inevitable, and I am just glad that they are planning on playing at this point in time. A year without sports would be detrimental to the community in-itself, much less the athletes that would be missing out on playing.

Luckily, all signs are pointing toward the fact that both Georgia and North Carolina will have some sort of fall sports season. If you would’ve asked me a month ago if I thought that we would be in a position to play at all I would have told you heck no, But, at this point, I’m at about an 80% certainty that will we see games played in the coming months.

Stay tuned to the FYN Sports page to find out the latest updates on the GHSA, NCHSAA, and TSSAA upcoming fall seasons.

 

 

Check out more of Jake West’s Scoring Points by reading last week’s article: Athletics in NCHSAA hands: Good or bad?. Also remember, in sports, points are scored by both sides, so send in your opinions on sports to info@fetchyournews.com and see them in our next Sunday Edition.

Scoring Points: Athletics in NCHSAA hands: Good or bad?

Just For Fun
Scoring Points, meeting, sports setbacks, basketball, fake fans

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper held a press conference earlier today, where he announced that school systems will be operating on Plan B which is a split, virtual and in-person, system this fall. School districts are also allowed to operate under plan C, which is strictly virtual online learning. Regarding sports, he announced that he is leaving the decision about whether or not to have upcoming athletics seasons to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA).

Cooper stated, “The NCHSAA will be making the decisions about high school sports and what they’re going to engage in.” He went on to say, “I love fall sports and enjoyed playing them in high school. I know a lot of our student-athletes want to get back into playing sports. The NCHSAA will be consulting with public health experts, including our staff here at the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s my understanding that they will be making specific decisions a little bit later on in the process.”

I’ve been thinking about this decision since I listened to Governor Cooper’s press conference on Tuesday morning, trying to weigh the good and the bad.

In my honest opinion, I think that since Cooper left it up to the NCHSAA to decide, they, in turn, will leave it up to school districts to decide whether they want to play or not. I think that the NCHSAA will give the go-ahead initially, but a lot of things will have to fall into place for sports to be played at their full potential. All in all, I do not think that it was necessarily a bad thing for this decision to be left up to Que Tucker and the NCHSAA board, but it does now present them with even more unanswered questions since the school systems will be operating at basically a fifty percent capacity.

It feels like, with every press conference and news release we get, more questions are left at the end than there were before. Hopefully, when the NCHSAA meets in two weeks we can get a plan of attack and know what to expect going forward.

 

 

Check out more of Jake West’s Scoring Points by reading last week’s article: New GHSA shot clock rule good for the game. Also remember, in sports, points are scored by both sides, so send in your opinions on sports to info@fetchyournews.com and see them in our next Sunday Edition.

Scoring Points: Minor League Baseball Cancelled

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Scoring Points, meeting, sports setbacks, basketball, fake fans

As many of you may have already seen or heard, the upcoming Minor League Baseball season has been canceled. This decision is detrimental to the livelihood of the thousands of players that are in the MiLB system. With the Pro Baseball Agreement between Major and Minor League Baseball set to expire this year, MLB has already targeted some teams to place on the chopping block, in order to follow the NBA’s lead and make the developmental process easier and more concrete.

Hopefully for our community and the surrounding areas sake, no local area teams such as the Asheville Tourists or the Chattanooga Lookouts will be cut in the coming year. Not only are the rostered players effected, but the people who depend on the seasonal jobs that these clubs provide for them are monumentally impacted. Also, one thing that I can not seem to get off of my mind are the way that younger players in high school are going to be impacted. Without the Minor League Baseball system around, they may opt for heading to a college strictly for academics sake, putting their dreams of playing collegiate baseball and advancing to the next level on the back burner.

I also am saddened to think about the impact that this is going to have on the return of our local high school sports in the area. Cancelling a whole season of profitable baseball does not bode well for the way that the people in power’s minds are operating. I realize that the MiLB is a huge system with a ton of players and staffers and that high school sports are minuscule in comparison, I just hope that this does not set a precedent for things to come.

With the way that things are going in the GHSA and NCHSAA, I do not think that we have too much to worry about, but it is something to think about!

 

Check out more of Jake West’s Scoring Points by reading last week’s article: COVID causes more high school sports setbacks. Also remember, in sports, points are scored by both sides, so send in your opinions on sports to info@fetchyournews.com and see them in our next Sunday Edition.

NC sports return on the horizon

Just For Fun
Scoring Points, meeting, sports setbacks, basketball, fake fans

Ask and you shall receive! The North Carolina High School Athletic Association sent out an email on Tuesday to over 400 member schools that declared its ban on sports related activities would end on June 1st. What a breath of fresh air to have a statement come out with actual substance.

The one thing that will hold schools back from resuming activities such as weightlifting and off-season workouts will be Governor Coopers mandated stay at home order. The commissioner of the NC high school athletic association Que Tucker said that if the stay at home order is not lifted by the June 1st date theyve set to resume activities, then they will have to also push that date back to coincide with the stay at home order until it is also lifted.

As of May 8th, Gov. Roy Cooper has allowed North Carolina to move into Phase 1 of a reopening plan which allows 50% capacity in retail stores and for child-care centers to open. It also calls for a 10-person limit on gatherings.

Later this month phase two is set to go into motion, which would likely increase the number of people allowed at gatherings and potentially open the door for student-athletes to return to campus.

I know we’re all watching the news and seeing that pro sports are likely to return without any fans and one would think that something like that would also be set into motion in the high school realm of sports, be it giving tickets to student athletes to give to their families and only allowing a certain number of people inside the gate, but that’s a different bowl of soup. I believe that we should cross that bridge when we get there, and in this moment be happy that there are even TALKS of a return to sports activities as soon as June 1st!

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