(New Buffalo, MI) - Student athletes and coaches in New Buffalo are hoping the start of the winter sports season doesn’t get pushed back again because of COVID-19.
New Buffalo High School Athletic Director Matt Johnson said it hasn’t been an easy time especially for seniors with the start date for winter sports already pushed back three times since prior to Thanksgiving. “I think there’s obviously a significant amount of anxiety constantly waiting to see if the date that they set down is actually going to come through and you’re going to be able to play your season,” he said.
Practice for boys and girls’ basketball at New Buffalo High School will begin January 16 with competition starting January 22 under the most recent plan from the Michigan High School Athletic Association for winter sports. Johnson said he anticipates no change in those dates as long as there’s not another upsurge in COVID-19 cases statewide. He cautioned nothing is guaranteed, though, because of how COVID-19 since the outbreak in the spring has remained a situation that can change at any time. Johnson said he is encouraged by the governor allowing school to switch back from virtual learning to in-person learning following the Christmas break.
If the basketball season does start with practice on January 16, Johnson said athletic directors in the Berrien Cass St. Joseph Conference have agreed to begin playing games as they were listed on the original schedule. He said teams in the BCS conference have also agreed to try and make up at least some of the games that were supposed to have been played already had the season not been delayed. “We’re going to do the best we can to fill in as many games as we can with open dates to give the kids as many games as possible within reason,” he said.