Tracks Closed To The Public
Ferry, Bellaire, St. C., Shadyside, Barnesville and UL off limits
MARTINS FERRY — When the Ohio High School Athletic Association issued its edict last week about sports and practices being shutdown throughout the Buckeye State during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic it included all athletic facilities.
That didn’t just apply to prep athletes.
The five area high schools that have all-weather tracks normally welcome members of the community to walk or jog on their tracks, too.
However, since the facilties are closed by the governor’s mandate, effective today, so are the tracks.
Officials at Barnesville, Bellaire, Martins Ferry, St. Clairsville, Shadyside and Union Local all indicated their entire campuses are closed throughout the duration of governor’s mandate, which is currently set to expire on April 5 with schools scheduled to resume on April 6.
All six schools confirmed their ovals are off limits to the general public. Not only is the track in Barnesville closed, the highly popular Memorial Park within the village limits will also be closed down to the public.
In a Sunday afternoon media conference, Gov. Mike DeWine admitted that the scheduled three weeks away from the classroom may not be long enough and he admitted closing down for the remainder of the school year is in play.
Later Sunday, the Center of Disease Control issued a statement that it was recommending group meetings be held under 50 for the next eight weeks, which would put the resumption of prep sports, which the OHSAA had announced on Friday was tentatively set for April 11, in total limbo.
While the CDC didn’t include institutes of learning, so classes could resume, but events like graduation and dances would fall under the umbrella. Along with high school sports, the CDC’s message would also include youth sports such as soccer, baseball, softball, swimming, etc.