Perryville vs. Bohemia Manor volleyball

Perryville senior Jordan Carr (22) sets to senior Gracey Stevens (12) during the Panthers’ straight-set win over visiting Bohemia Manor in the 1A East Region I Volleyball playoffs in 2019. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, sports will be conducted with scrimmages this fall and volleyball matches will be held outdoors for safety.

Cecil County Public School and Cecil County Parks and Recreation have worked out an arrangement to allow high-school level sports to continue in the fall, with schools competing in scrimmages locally.

“CCPS and CCPR believe it is essential to the physical and mental well-being of students that they return to physical activity and athletic competition,” a press release from CCPS Tuesday states.

On Aug 3, the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association postponed the 2020 high school fall and winter competition season during the first semester. The announcement also allowed school systems to use MPSSAA waiver regulations for student engagement during the first semester.

The release from CCPS says that the proposed fall season will offer flag football, boys and girls soccer, girls field hockey, girls volleyball, cross country, corollary tennis and golf.

CCPS Coordinator for Physical Education, Health Education and Interscholastic Athletics Matt Roberts said teams for the proposed competitions will be based upon current high school of attendance for the student-athlete. He said the district is looking at offering varsity and junior varsity competitions in each sport.

Roberts said CCPS is following protocols set by the Centers for Disease Control and the Maryland and Cecil County Departments of Health, with the goal of achieving the safety and security of every athlete. Roberts said protocols are in place to check athletes and others who will be on site at competitions that will be conducted as scrimmages between teams. Spectators to games will be limited to immediate family members and guardians and will need to also be screened for safety purposes.

As a part of the COVID-19 protocols, transportation to practice and scrimmages will not be provided and will be the responsibility of the guardian, recent CCPS release states.

Roberts said that the flag football program will be seven-on-seven, noting that flag football was chosen again with athlete safety in mind. He noted that football players are very familiar with the two-hand touch variety of seven-on-seven football.

“We felt that with everything going on, we wanted to eliminate touching as much as we could,” he said.

Also, girl’s volleyball will be played outdoors on grass to allow for better air flow to help protect athletes.

Roberts said that school fields as well as fields at Brantwood Regional Park and Calvert Regional Park will be used to conduct scrimmages. The games will be competitive, but informal games where statistics and scores will not be kept.

A three-day tryout period will begin Sept. 8, with the season lasting through Oct. 30. Players will be required to have a medical physical completed by a doctor prior to try-outs and then must register with Parks and Recreation, with a $30 fee prior to competing in scrimmages.

“The continued partnership with Cecil County Parks & Recreation in the form of this new program for high school students is an example of coming together as a community to meet a need for social-emotional wellness during these challenging times,” stated Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeffrey Lawson. “Even though the format and rules will be different than our traditional high school sports programs, we know the importance of what this opportunity provides to our students.”

Further information regarding practice times will be provided by the CCPS high school of attendance. Questions regarding the programs should be directed to high school athletic directors.

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