Don’t worry, winter sports are back!

Olivia+Westphal+takes+a+shot+in+the+Lady+Hawks%27+game+vs.+Upper+St.+Clair+on+Jan.+20%2C+2020.

Evan Manion

Olivia Westphal takes a shot in the Lady Hawks’ game vs. Upper St. Clair on Jan. 20, 2020.

Josh Peters, Staff Writer

Throughout the fall months and early December, teams had already begun practicing for winter sports in Pennsylvania. That was put on hold when Governor Tom Wolf enacted COVID restrictions that took place on Dec. 10 which would be enacted for the rest of 2020.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday, Dec. 30 that a number of state-wide restrictions put in place three weeks prior to stop the surge in coronavirus cases would be lifted Monday, Jan. 4 at 8 a.m, as originally planned. That includes the postponement of youth and high school sports competitions and practices.

“All sports at K-12 public schools, nonpublic schools, private schools and club, travel, recreational, intramural, and intramural sports are paused,” Gov. Wolf said.

PIAA winter sports include basketball, competitive spirit, gymnastics, indoor track & field, swimming & diving, wrestling, bowling, and rifle.

Teams were able to start practicing Monday, but teams are forced to have at least four official practices before they can start competition. This means that you could see games/competitions as early as Friday or Saturday.

Gov. Tom Wolf said, “The state-wide positivity rate for the virus has reduced for the second week in a row and the number of new coronavirus cases reported each day has ‘plateaued’.”

He also noted that “This does not mean we’re out of the woods. Not by any means,” Wolf said. “We still have significant mitigation efforts in place.”

High school athletes now have some hope that their season will not be canceled, and they can go back to doing what they enjoy. Also, family members can potentially look forward to seeing their athlete continue and watch their season.

It’s also important to note that Wolf acknowledged it will be “months, not weeks” until the general population has access to coronavirus vaccines. That being said, there’s always a possibility of another postponement of the winter sports season, but as of right now we can continue.

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