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Snodgrass Focused On The Future

Looking ahead to fall season

These are emotional times for high school athletes, coaches and fans all over Ohio.

Just 24 hours removed from the announcement that schools would remain closed and therefore spring sports are off for 2020, OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass met with media from around the state in a nearly 60-minute teleconference Tuesday afternoon.

Snodgrass, who is in his second year at the helm of the OHSAA, expressed his remorse for what’s transpired since March when the coronavirus arrived in Ohio. However, he stressed that he and his staff are already starting the process of looking ahead.

“I took this job with a myriad of goals and ideas to build on from my predecessors, but I don’t know if I will ever work on them because my goal now is to return sports (in Ohio) to what they were and make them better.”

The process to bring sports back and improve them begins immediately for the OHSAA staff, which has now turned its attention to the 2020-21 school year. However, what stares them in the face is more unknowns.

Snodgrass didn’t sugarcoat the situation.

“I am concerned about fall sports and the Class of 21 dealing with similar things,” Snodgrass said. “We’re preparing for many what ifs and we won’t let our regulations handcuff us as to what we’re going to do.”

Currently, the OHSAA membership remains in a non-contact period for coaches and athletes until May 3. Whether or not that is lifted, and when, is still yet to be determined based upon what Gov. Mike DeWine decides as the state of Ohio works toward re-opening.

“We sent out a survey to the membership and have had almost 800 responses and I’d say 95 percent of the schools have said they support a no contact period into June 1,” Snodgrass said.

Fall sports are currently slated to begin practicing on Aug. 1, but Snodgrass wasn’t so sure that date will be written in stone one way or another. That decision may not be revealed until early June.

“We’re not going to put things out to the schools or public before there are certainties,” Snodgrass said.

Though official practices normally commence in August, June and July are usually busy months for prep athletes, too. For instance, a lot of boys basketball and volleyball summer leagues are held in June, while girls basketball plays in July and football begins to really increase its workouts and 7-on-7 events during that month.

Again, however, the future of those events begins with whether or not facilities are available.

“We don’t have the authority to shut down a facility totally because many (tracks at) football stadiums around the state are open for walking and such, but we can shut down a facility for use by athletes and coaches,” Snodgrass said.

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