Tryout sessions limited as official opening delayed

WESTFIELD – Due to rising cases of coronavirus within the Westfield Public Schools and potential delays in the full phased return of students to school, local student-athletes may have to wait just a bit longer for competitive practices, scrimmages, and full blown games and sporting events.
The city’s School Board recently voted to suspend winter sports activities at Westfield and Westfield Technical Academy high schools, allowing only modified tryouts until a decision is made at a special Jan. 14 meeting.
Tryouts will be held from January 11-14.
“The School Committee will meet to re-evaluate and decide how we are going to proceed from there,” Westfield High School Athletic Coordinator Ryan Dunphy said in a prepared statement.
Only a maximum of 10 athletes will be allowed to participate in a space at one time during modified tryouts.
“This goes along with all the other precautions and modifications that were already in place,” he said.
The latest delay came as 14 positive COVID cases in students and/or staff were reported in a 10-day span, bringing the total to 87 since the opening of school on Sept. 14.
The Southwick Regional School Committee recently voted to bring back sports for the winter sports after cancelling competitive sports for all but golf during the fall 2020 season, but that decision could be reversed if numbers trend in the wrong direction.
If and when the season does finally get under way, local basketball, ice hockey and swimming and diving teams will compete in “bubbles” to help reduce travel and the spread of the coronavirus, while skiers will compete against one another at Berkshire East in Charlemont. Sport-specific modifications have been created by the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s COVID Task Force in accordance with guidelines set forth by the Massachusetts EEA.
The season is expected is to last seven weeks with no postseason.

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