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SPORTS BRIEFING

Only parents allowed at games

COLUMBUS – High school sports can continue in Ohio, but games will be seen by fewer fans.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association and Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine recommended Tuesday that schools restrict attendance to only the parents of the participants, or eliminate all spectators, for their winter sports competitions through Dec. 31, due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

“We want to follow this recommendation so that our kids can continue to compete,” OHSAA executive director Doug Ute said. “We believe it is crucial that parents be permitted to attend the contests of their children, but large crowds at our indoor athletic contests are not a good idea at this time. We all need to work together to give our kids and schools the best chance at having a full winter season.”

Basketball, wrestling, swimming and bowling are contested in the winter season.

Schools will determine the process for how parents will attend athletic contests, such as how many are permitted and where they will be placed to watch the contest.

The OHSAA recommends for those schools that decide to admit parents, list the names of the parents on a roster sheet that is located at the ticket window/admission table. The OHSAA said it will help clarify who should and should not be admitted and will hopefully eliminate non-parents from attending.

There is no prohibition on cheerleaders and pep bands, but the OHSAA said schools should make their own decisions on these students’ participation and should strongly consider not sending cheerleaders to away contests.

As administrators were notified last week, the OHSAA winter sports seasons are moving forward as planned. That decision was made after the Executive Director’s Office had discussions with the Governor’s Office, the OHSAA Board of Directors and numerous administrators combined with the results of the membership survey in which 56 percent of the 1,464 respondents recommended the OHSAA begin all winter sports contests as they are currently planned and scheduled.

The decision for schools to move forward with sports is a local decision. The OHSAA said schools may choose not to participate in a contest or to pause their seasons for a period and should do what is in their best interests.

The OHSAA said it believes the member schools provide student-athletes with the safest possible environment to continue participating, and recognize the educational, physical and mental health benefits of participation.

Trumbull County halts sports

WARREN – All Trumbull County schools have suspended athletic activities through at least Dec. 22.

The Trumbull County Board of Health made the advisory Tuesday and said school superintendents unanimously supported the measure due to rising COVID-19 cases.

It will play havoc with Crestview’s and South Range’s basketball schedules.

Crestview competes in the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference Gray Tier with Trumbull County schools Brookfield, Champion, LaBrae, Liberty and Newton Falls.

South Range is a member of the Northeast 8 Athletic Conference with Trumbull County schools Girard, Hubbard, Lakeview and Niles.

All Trumbull County schools are going to remote learning Monday through Jan. 3.

Potters open on Tuesday

EAST LIVERPOOL — East Liverpool winter sports will go on as scheduled even though the district announced Tuesday it will continue remote learning through Jan. 18, 2021.

The East Liverpool girls basketball teams has played two games, while the East Liverpool boys will host Edison in the season opener on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The junior varsity game will start at 5:30 p.m.

Ex-Penguins sign with NFL teams

Two standouts on Youngstown State University’s 2016 FCS national runner-up team have joined NFL teams.

The Los Angeles Rams claimed defensive end Derek Rivers off waivers from the New England Patriots, who waived him last week.

Rivers has four tackles and 1/2 sacks on the season and has six tackles and 2 1/2 sacks in 14 career games for the Patriots. He was drafted in the third round by the New England Patriots in 2017.

The Pittsburgh Steelers promoted tight end Kevin Rader to the active roster. Rader, best known for making a game-winning touchdown catch behind the back of an Eastern Washington defender as time expired in the national semifinal, signed with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2018. He has yet to play in an NFL game.

Akron at Ohio State game canceled

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio State has canceled its women’s basketball game against Akron scheduled for Wednesday evening in Columbus because Akron is affected by COVID-19.

Ohio State said in a release “the decision was made out of an abundance of caution” after Akron shared results of its most recent testing.

The Buckeyes’ men’s basketball game against Illinois State scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in the same arena is still on.

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