NYSPHSAA names coronavirus task force

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has selected members to serve on a COVID-19 Task Force with the goal of examining potential impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the fall 2020 season and the 2020-2021 school year, it announced Wednesday.

Task Force members were selected by Paul Harrica, NYSPHSAA President, with input and consultation from NYSPHSAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas. The Task Force is comprised of NYSPHSAA member superintendents, principals, athletic directors and executive directors in addition to representatives from New York State Athletic Administrators Association and State Education Department. It is anticipated the committee will meet for the first time in late May or early June.

“The goal of this task force is to bring together a group of experienced administrators and professionals to examine potential impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the upcoming school year and to provide guidance and recommendations to the 11 Sections of NYSPHSAA,” Harrica said in a statement.

“At this time we are planning to start fall sports on August 24th,” Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director, added. “With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis, I want to make sure we are prepared to focus attention on keeping student-athletes engaged in their school communities and active, while also abiding by Department of Health and Governor Cuomo’s guidelines. We must have innovative and creative thought to provide beneficial participation playing experiences for students.”

The task force consists of: Harrica (Section X, task force chair); Julie Bergman (Section IV, vice president); Russell Bartlett (Section X, vice president); Jim Osborne (former Section IX president); Tim Mullins (Section XI, vice president); Steve Broadwell (former Section VII president); Zayas; Jim Dexter (Section II, district superintendent); Ivan Katz (Section IX, east superintendent); Adam Stoltman (Section VI, west superintendent); Tim Combs (Section XI, executive director east); Matt Walentuk (Section VII, executive director east); Carl Normandin (Section X, executive director west); Kathy Hoyt (Section V, executive director west); Jim Mackin (Section I, east principal); Paul Gasparini (Section III, west principal); Chris Ceruti (Section VIII, east athletic director); Scott Barker (Section V, west athletic director); Jim Wright (Section XI, New York State Athletic Administrators Association); Rick Knizek (Section II, athletic trainer); Chris Durdon (Section IV, district transportation director); Dennis Burkett (officials); Karen Hollowood (NYS education department); and Ann Lanoue (NYS education department).

There will also be a representative from the NYS Department of Health.

Recommended for you