WKTV - On a day where Section III voted to proceed with low and moderate-risk fall sports beginning on Sept. 21, two local school districts, Remsen and Waterville, decided to delay theirs, Friday.
Each school is pushing back their interscholastic athletics indefinitely with Waterville specifically referencing that they will re-evaluate their athletic plans by Jan. 1, 2021.
Remsen cited that social distancing guidelines, expecting athletes to wear a mask during competition, and financial restraints as the main reasons to forgo sports until further notice.
School districts are losing as much as 20% of state aid due to the coronavirus pandemic this academic year, meaning Remsen school district may receive upwards of $1.46 million less than it did in the 2019-20 acadamic year.
Athletic season expenses, event staffing, and extra spectator guidelines and cleaning procedures created a financial burden that is not feasible to overcome at this time, according to a letter from Superintendent Timothy Jenny.
"While this decision is difficult for everyone, I am confident that our Remsen community will understand that participating in athletics at this time is not possible with our current safety procedures," said Jenny in the letter. "Our Remsen community is strong. Together, we can get through anything. Thank you for your understanding and for your continued support."
The district said that until the New York State Departments of Health and Education allow for 100% of students to return for in-person learning, it is difficult to envision safely hosting interscholastic athletic activities.
Waterville also cited budget restrictions from the state in its reasoning for delaying sports.
A letter to families within its school district said that the additional time will allow the district to monitor its capacity to transport students for athletics.
"We thank everyone for their understanding and support," said Interim Superindendent Dr. Kathleen Davis. "We understand that this news will be disappointing for our student-athletes, but the Waterville Central School District Board of Education and administravtive team spent a great deal of time considering this decision in the best interest of students, employees, families and the community."
Waterville and Remsen join Cooperstown and Oneonta (Section IV) as schools within the NEWSChannel 2 viewing area to have decided to postpone or cancel its fall sports.
Overall, five schools in Section III (Waterville, Remsen, Cooperstown, Indian River, and Watertown) have elected to forgo fall sports in 2020.