Hyde education board nixes student workouts

Published 6:04 pm Monday, August 24, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Student athletes in Hyde County will not be allowed to train in school-led workouts, at least for now.

The Hyde County Board of Education rejected a request by athletic director Cody Horton that student athletes be allowed to participate in organized training sessions while Hyde schools began the school year by virtual learning.

The school board didn’t criticize the plan that called for small groups of no contact training under supervision. The board noted the safety procedure that would be put in place – including hand sanitizer stations, limited participation, temperature checks, masks and social distancing requirements for participants – were sound.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

Several board members did voice concerns that even with the best safety protocols in place, keeping students healthy would be challenging.  It was noted that COVID-19 cases in Hyde County have doubled in the past two weeks. Chairman Randy Etheridge said, “I would rather be overprotective than underprotective.”

Because of the pandemic, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association has pushed back the sports schedule. Under current NCHSAA guidelines, the earliest team practice for volleyball would be allowed is November 4 and December 7 for basketball. But the NCHSAA left the scheduling of non-contact training programs up to local school boards.

In voting down Horton’s request for early training, the board left a crack in the door. They told the athletic director to keep his plan and promised to revisit the request often. If pandemic conditions improve, the board indicated they would consider allowing early training.