- Cheltenham School District
Cheltenham Joins with Eight Other Regional Public Schools for Fall Alternate Athletic Season
Elkins Park (October 8, 2020) - Cheltenham High School will join with eight other regional public school districts which also opted out of athletic competition this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic in a scheduling agreement to offer all of their student-athletes an alternate season beginning tentatively in March 2021.
“I am thankful that we are able to offer this opportunity to our student-athletes,” said Cheltenham Athletic Director Suni K. Blackwell. “Something like this has never been done before, and I’m grateful for the commitment of all the athletic directors involved to make this a reality.”
Cheltenham will compete against fellow Suburban One League school Harry S. Truman; Berks League member Reading; Pioneer Athletic Conference member Norristown; and Del-Val League teams Academy Park, Chester, Chichester, Interboro and Penn Wood. Tentatively, practices begin Monday, March 1, and contests begin on Friday, March 12.
“Cheltenham administration has made tough decisions in the past few months in the best interest of our students, staff and families to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These decisions were made in order to be better prepared to provide in-person instruction beginning in January,” said CSD Superintendent Dr. Wagner Marseille. ”Athletic director Suni Blackwell, our board and administration never lost sight of trying to find alternative ways to support our fall student-athletes. Mr. Blackwell is a true champion for our student-athletes, and was instrumental in working with the PIAA and other organizations to bring this opportunity to fruition. We are excited our fall teams will have the chance to compete.”
According to a joint statement the nine schools issued, the group “will continue to work with their respective administrations, school boards, local and county leadership to ensure safety remains a top priority. Most of all, we look forward to seeing our student-athletes competing against each other, representing the great schools and communities which are represented in this agreement.”
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) voted September 23 to allow member schools to pursue alternate athletic schedules if the pandemic prohibited the resumption of regularly scheduled athletic seasons. These nine schools are able to play in the traditional PIAA winter and spring seasons and will be eligible to compete in the District One and PIAA playoffs in those seasons.
Cheltenham sponsors nine “traditional” fall sports: boys and girls cross country and soccer; field hockey, girls tennis and volleyball; boys football; and sideline cheer.