No fall sports for 17 Archdiocesan high schools in Philadelphia region

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced the decision in a letter to parents
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says 17 Archdiocesan high schools in Southeastern Pennsylvania will not be playing fall sports due to the coronavirus.

Families and students of the 17 Archdiocesan high schools received official notice from the school on Monday.

"After much careful thought, consultation, and prayer a decision has been reached that all of our high schools will opt-out of participation in interscholastic competition for the fall 2020 season," a portion of the letter read.

No decision has been made on spring sports.

"We are confident that PIAA will seek to provide alternative solutions for those entities opting out of fall programs in the coming semester. The pandemic has made every aspect of life unpredictable for all of us over the past several months. As we continue to live in a time of uncertainty, it would be imprudent to speculate regarding an exact time when competitions will resume or regarding the status of spring semester athletics. In keeping with our commitment, we will share timely information with you about developments and decisions affecting our schools," added the Archdioceses of Philadelphia.

READ MORE: PIAA OKs fall sports at Pennsylvania schools, despite governor's recommendation

Just last week, the board of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association voted 25-5 to allow high school football, soccer, tennis, field hockey and other fall sports to go on as planned.

"I was very upset because I was looking forward to playing soccer," said Aidan Wilson, a senior athlete.

"It's kind of like we were excited, then all of a sudden, no we're not," said Morgan Marino.

"I was really disappointed at first but I respect the decision and everything and I'm hoping we can have a season in the spring of some sorts," said Emily Collins, a senior.

Meanwhile, at Upper Dublin High School, more than 200 students and their parents rallied before Monday night's school board meeting, urging members to allow students to play this fall.

"We have a safety plan in place that can be followed, sports are voluntary, we think it's vital to the well-being of our students," said parent, Erin Stein.

"They've been playing sports for their local clubs, and other organizations throughout the summer successfully. There are successful plans in place that have been working," said Ginny Vitella, another parent.

The Upper Dublin School Board later announced that fall sports would go on but with the understanding that it could be shut down if things go south with the virus this fall.
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