York College senior and Central York grad Jared Wagner discusses the coaches and teammates who have helped him develop into a star basketball player.
York Daily Record
York College sports are still on for this fall, for the time being.
The Middle Atlantic Conference, which York College just joined this year, announced Friday that it plans to hold fall sports this year, though with conference-only play and a later start date.
Games will be played no earlier than Sept. 18. York College originally had games scheduled for the beginning of September.
In its statement, the MAC said it could “revisit this decision if necessary” depending on how the coronavirus pandemic develops. Each school in the conference will need a “resocialization” plan that will comply with state and national guidelines.
“It is paramount that each campus prioritizes the health of its entire campus community,” MAC Executive Director Megan Morrison said in the statement. “I am hopeful that with carefully crafted re-socialization plans, athletics, as an integral piece in the co-curricular experience for so many student-athletes and campuses, may be able to happen this fall.”
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York College sophomore and Red Lion graduate Ali Posey takes a shot on goal during field hockey practice at York College Tuesday, September 29, 2015. (Photo: File , York Daily Record)
The move will allow conference members to focus their athletic re-opening efforts under a uniform set of guidelines, including health, safety and travel, said York College athletic director Paul Saikia. The mid-September start date provides a one-month acclimation for students returning to campus for the fall semester.
“Really, where we’re at is we still want to play if we can,” Saikia said. “We haven’t thrown up the flag yet. We’re going to see if we can do it. If we can’t do it (safely), we won’t.”
He hesitated when asked about his optimism on a fall season actually being played. “I’m enthusiastic about attempting …”
The league announcement comes during a week in which numerous Division II and Division III athletic conferences across the country have canceled fall sports due to COVID-19. The Centennial Conference, which includes central Pennsylvania Division III schools like Gettysburg College, Franklin and Marshall, and Dickinson, canceled all fall sports on Tuesday.
The Ivy League became the first Division I conference to make that call on Wednesday, canceling all fall sports and stating no athletic competitions will begin before Jan. 1 of next year. The Big Ten announced Thursday it will hold conference-only competitions if a season does take place.
York College was announced as a new member of the MAC in April, and left the Capital Athletic Conference at the end of the 2019-20 school year. The MAC has 18 members across Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey, including Lebanon Valley College and Messiah College.
York College does not have a football program, but its fall sports include soccer, cross country, field hockey, tennis, golf and girls’ volleyball.
“With the health and well-being of our students, coaches, staff, and campus community at the forefront of our mission, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 risks as we prepare for the fall semester,” York College said in a statement. “Our Spartans will compete so long as the ability to do so aligns with the standards of safety established for the entirety of the College.
“As warranted, we will update our position throughout the summer.”
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Matt Allibone is a sports reporter for GameTimePA. He can be reached at 717-881-8221, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @bad2theallibone.
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