Scholastic ADs having a tough time

It has to be hard to be an athletic director in 2020.

Last week, Tyrone learned its high school football game at Clearfield was postponed at 11 a.m. the same day the Golden Eagles were supposed to play. It was picture day at Tyrone, and I have to imagine several players were wearing their jerseys in school but never got a chance to wear them that night.

In Philipsburg, head football coach Jeff Vroman didn’t find out his team wasn’t having their senior night until almost 3 p.m., just hours before the ceremony was set to begin.

Both games were postponed due to a possible positive COVID-19 test at Clearfield. The Bison had played Penns Valley, P-O’s scheduled opponent, the week before and the Rams opted not to play out of precaution.

All the sudden changes the day of the game fell mostly on Tyrone athletic director Luke Rhoades and P-O co-ADs Robert Mann and Matt Curtis along with the ADs from Clearfield and Penns Valley.

If the teams knew of the situation even a day earlier, maybe they could have played each other and done a home-and-home series since they play a regularly scheduled game later in the year. P-O also probably could have scheduled Curwensville, which was off because Sheffield had to cancel its game against the Tide due to low numbers.

But unfortunately for the schools, kids, coaches and ADs, the coronavirus doesn’t work like that or care about schedules.

At this point, the schedule of games we run in the paper is merely a possibility as anything can change at any moment.

Hollidaysburg athletic director Homer DeLattre had to basically re-do his entire football schedule, and most of the rest of the schedules the Golden Tigers are playing due to the school not being in a conference and some conferences sticking to league-only play.

Teams in the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference were one of those leagues, meaning their ADs had to break the news to their teams that they couldn’t play in invitationals or special events that included more than just LHAC teams.

One event, the Operation Our Town golf scramble held at Park Hills Golf Course, was postponed to spring despite high school golf being a fall sport just to make sure teams from the LHAC got an equal opportunity to play.

In addition to those challenges, athletic directors have been forced to deal with the spectator policy that seems to take more dramatic swings than the soap opera, “The Young & The Restless.”

Many schools proactively approved a spectator capacity plan this week in anticipation that House Bill 2787 would override Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto, but 25 representatives changed their vote and the bill failed. Those plans can still go into action — for now — depending on more requests for a stay on the ruling that Wolf’s 250- and 25-person outdoor and indoor mandates were unconstitutional, which could come down at any time, including just hours before tonight’s games.

Everyone is frustrated, but it’s really not anyone’s fault — at least locally. Just try and be patient and know your athletic director is probably just as frustrated and on edge as you are.

Michael Boytim can be reached at mboytim@altoonamirror.com. Follow him on Twitter @BoytimMichael


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