Dallas County Athletic Directors react to spring sports postponement

Published 9:41 am Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Alabama High School Athletic Association suspended spring sports in public schools after Tuesday over the coronavirus pandemic.

The public schools Athletic Directors in Dallas County responded to the abrupt halt to baseball, softball and track seasons until April 6, the day when schools are scheduled to re-open.

Practicing, weightlifting or conditioning under a coach’s supervision are also prohibited under the mandated closure.

“The coronavirus is unfortunate, but we have to take the necessary precautions to make sure our teams, coaches and fans are safe,” Selma High Athletic Director, track and volleyball coach Katasha Turner said. “It puts a damper on sports. We are a community that loves sports.”

Keith High School Athletic Director and head basketball coach Clifton Reeves said he sees both sides of the postponement.

“As a coach, you hate it that your athletes won’t get to participate in the sports they’re playing because you know the time and effort they put in, but at the end of the day, their safety is the most important thing,” Reeves said. “You don’t want to put the health of the athletes, coaches and anyone else involved at risk.”

Dallas County Athletic Director and head football coach Heath LeVert said he understands why sporting events were suspended.

“I think that is necessary, but unfortunate,” LeVert said. “In my opinion, if you cancel a contest and prevent an illness like COVID-19 from growing more than it already is, I am for it. I would not put my child in a situation where he or she is in close contact with individuals who may or may not be contagious. I want my student athletes to play and compete, but I want to ensure their health above all else.”

Southside High School Principal Cedric Brown, a former Panthers basketball coach, said he supports the move to delay spring sports.

“I respect the decisions of the CDC, State Department of Education AHSAA, and Dallas County Board of Education,” Brown said. “I would rather we have done too much than nothing at all for the safety of our student-athletes.”