Phoenixville Area High School seniors attempt to hold on to traditions, amid the shift in upcoming school year

Monday, August 24, 2020
Phoenixville seniors hold fast to tradition amid a vastly different school year
Phoenixville seniors hold fast to tradition amid a vastly different school year

PHOENIXVILLE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Despite the coronavirus, Phoenixville High School seniors gathered in the school's parking lot Monday, holding their first-day-of-school tailgate.

It's an annual tradition at the school and the students said COVID-19 wasn't going to stop them, as they are already missing out on so much.

"Just everything that comes with being a senior, the football games, the pep rallies, like powder puff games, all the assemblies and stuff, just all of it," said senior Hayden Perrone.

The school year will be remarkably different in Phoenixville, with classes K-12 all virtual until at least October 31. School administrators will re-assess reopening at the beginning of October.

"We're all going home after this and just sitting on the computer all day but it's definitely super weird but we can see each other right now so that's the best we can do," said senior Alana Lathan.

Senior Courtney Davis said, "My initial reaction was just overwhelmed with sadness, as I've worked so long for this."

And high school sports are coming back in some school districts. Despite Governor Tom Wolf recommending all school districts hold off on sports until next year, PIAA, the governing body for Pennsylvania interscholastic sports, voted last Friday that it was indeed safe to play again. Practices can technically resume Monday buts it's up to each school district.

"When I heard that Phoenixville was opting out of sports, I cried because as a freshman that's all you want," said Perrone, who plays volleyball. "You wait until it's your senior year to have a great season."

The Phoenixville area school district will only hold golf, singles tennis and marching band this fall. The rest of the sports are canceled.

Senior soccer player Ava Labik said the decision is hurting her chances of getting recruited to play soccer in college.

"It just definitely extends the period, like I probably would have had a good idea of where I was going by now, but right now it just sets everything back," she said.

The school district will reassess reopening at the beginning of October.

In Chester County, the goal is to have 19 or fewer coronavirus cases a day.