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Tucson-area high schools cancel football, other fall sports seasons

Tucson-area schools cancel fall sports seasons
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Posted at 12:04 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 14:06:02-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Multiple Southern Arizona high schools announced Tuesday that they would shut down their fall sports seasons. Stay with KGUN9 for the latest updates.

12:05 p.m. Wednedsay

A Marana Unified School District spokeswoman said the district was shutting down fall sports practices and games, as well as pausing winter sports practices.

2:38 p.m.

Amphitheater Public Schools Superintendent Todd Jaeger released this statement announcing the end of the fall sports season:

I recently wrote to you with information about COVID-19 as it relates to schools and to the Amphitheater District in particular. At that time, Pima County continued to support the hybrid model, and school activities were continuing as scheduled.

Hybrid learning will continue, but today, in response to a request from County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry and with the support of the Pima County Health Department, superintendents throughout the county agreed to cease all athletic practices and competitions immediately.

Only Phase 1 individual activities will continue. County health officials say there is ample evidence that most of the mass quarantine events in schools in the county are tied to athletic events. That has been true in our District, as we have seen hundreds of student-athletes being quarantined since opening in the hybrid model. School spread, notably, actually continues to be very low at present, but the increasing numbers in the general population put school populations at greater risk, and that is why the county has asked us to take action to limit the kind of potential for spread that our large athletic groups and gatherings represent. This was a difficult decision.

We know that athletics are important, and we know that our students are happiest when they are involved in the activities they love. I regret that we must end the season for our students in an abrupt and premature closing – especially after a delayed opening. We will continue to do our best for all students by making measured decisions with the guidance of health experts, just as we have endeavored to do since the pandemic found its way to our community.

Thank you for your continued understanding, Todd A. Jaeger, J.D.

2:07 p.m.

Tucson Unified School District canceled its football seasons. Superintendent Grabriel Trujillo released this statement:

Out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of the Pima County Administrator’s Office and public health recommendations issued by the Pima County Health Department, I’ve made the difficult decision to suspend the remainder of the football season. Effective today, all practices and games have been suspended.

We have also determined that Winter Sports Practices and After-School performing arts rehearsals are temporarily suspended and will be revisited on December 7th.
Please know that Tucson Unified is not the only district to take this action as all southern Arizona school districts have also canceled the remainder of their respective game schedules which leaves our schools without opponents to play.

I want to thank all of the hard-working coaches, athletes, and supportive parents that worked so hard to make this shortened season possible.

2:03 p.m.

According to a Salpointe Catholic High School spokesman, the only fall sport continuing at the school is football. "At this time we will move forward with our game on Friday in the state tournament," the spokesman said via email.

1:50 p.m.

According to a Vail Unified School District spokeswoman, the district has canceled fall sports.

1:12 p.m.

Sahuarita Unified School District announced it was canceling fall sports.

"I am grateful for the collaboration, dedication and resolve with which our coaches, administrative staff, parents, student athletes and community have embraced this effort to allow our kids to play interscholastic activities," said superintendent Manuel Valenzuela, in a statement. "It has not been easy. Yet, I believe these programs are a vital part of the educational experience. I'm thankful that they got a chance to play a few games. However, this continues to be a dynamic and rapidly changing situation."

12 p.m.

A Sunnyside Unified School District spokeswoman said via email "SUSD is immediately ceasing all fall athletic events including football practice and games."

11:59 a.m.

Catalina Foothills High School football coach Darius Kelly confirmed to KGUN9's Jason Barr that the district was shutting down fall sports.