Though the CIAC’s latest plan for fall sports allowed teams to practice in small groups as of Aug. 29, a few local schools remain off the field.
Wilton’s athletic teams remain out until at least Sept. 8.
“We were basically paused last week,” Warriors football coach E.J. DiNunzio said Tuesday. “I went to my athletic director and said are we good for Saturday, and I was told no, we were on pause. We’re not going to be able to get back on the field until Sept. 8.”
Sept. 8 is the first day of in-person instruction at Wilton, a date pushed back at a special board meeting last Tuesday. In the town’s regular board meeting on Thursday, superintendent Kevin Smith said that the town health director had received their athletic plan, and Wilton hoped to begin conditioning soon.
The stoppage came not long after two large youth gatherings in town came to light. DiNunzio said he had no information to tie the Warriors’ pause to those gatherings.
A Tuesday phone call to Wilton athletic director Chris McDougal was not immediately returned.
Without in-person practice, that leaves online-video meetings with his players, DiNunzio said.
“As you can imagine, the back-and-forth, on-again, off-again, for the kids, it’s very disheartening,” DiNunzio said.
Conditioning resumed for some schools on Aug. 24 on the way to a first practice date on this past Saturday.
The CIAC’s plan progresses week by week from small-group skills practices toward first games on Oct. 1, and each step depends on the state’s COVID-19 metrics remaining low. The two trickiest sports in the plan are girls volleyball and football, which the state Department of Health recommends the CIAC not play in their usual forms this fall.
Coginchaug athletes have received district clearance to begin practice on Thursday, though teams will actually begin on Saturday or Tuesday.
“We received word that we are cleared to begin,” athletic director Todd Petronio said.
“With the upcoming long weekend, some teams will start slightly later.”
The Region 13 Board of Education voted in favor of a resolution on Aug. 19 that pushed the start of interscholastic sport to the start of in-person school. The first day of classes is Thursday. The board also supported the then-current state Department of Public Health guidance to the CIAC against volleyball and football.
“(The) Board resolution is still in force and we await any change from the State Department of Public Health on the playing of football and volleyball this fall,” board president Bob Moore said in an email, “but conditioning and practice in cohorts begins (Thursday).”
Coginchaug athletes had been conditioning from July 11 to Aug. 6, Petronio said, the school’s planned stoppage date. The plan was to resume on Aug. 17 with the rest of the state before the CIAC paused that to review DPH guidelines.
“We’ve had plans for when we’re going to start, and they’ve been pushed back,” Petronio said.
Danbury shut down its programs for two weeks on Aug. 24 amid a jump in positive tests in the city.
Bridgeport’s administration shut down volleyball and football at the city’s high schools, and New Haven’s health department put most sports on hold. Nonnewaug’s regional board first opted the school out of fall sports, then reversed its decision on Monday night and allowed teams to return to conditioning.