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Workouts put on hold

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Trying its best to get out ahead of possible COVID-19 issues in the peak of the vacation season, St. Clairsville schools suspended athletic conditioning and workouts for the next two weeks.

Superintendent Dr. Walt Skaggs announced the decision Tuesday afternoon. The suspension, which takes effect Wednesday, is scheduled to end on July 8. At that point, Red Devils’ athletic teams and other extracurricular activities such as band can resume their summer preparations.

“We have a bunch of kids on vacation right now and more scheduled to be headed to places like Myrtle Beach or Florida in the coming days and weeks, so we thought it’s a good time to take a break,” Skaggs said.

According to Skaggs, many of the Red Devil teams were slated to be off in the coming two weeks anyway because of the Fourth of July holiday, so after talking to many of his coaches, he opted to expedite the plan.

“With most taking the week of the fourth off any way, we just added another week,” Skaggs said.

Union Local announced it will require its student-athletes who leave the state of Ohio for more than one day must quarantine from their sport for 14 days before resuming their workouts.

Skaggs pointed out that most medical professionals recommend a 14-day quarantine after leaving the state for a certain period of time, so that’s why he felt comfortable with the two-week stoppage of sports.

“We’re just taking every precaution we can,” Skaggs said. “It’s the kids and their families right to do whatever they want (in terms of taking vacation) and we thought we’ll basically give them two weeks to take those and get them out of the way. This was our decision totally.”

Skaggs said he’s not aware of any St. Clairsville student-athletes with a positive coronavirus test.

St. Clairsville is the third school district in Belmont County to cease its athletic workouts, which just resumed earlier this month. Shadyside and Bellaire shut down over the weekend after several of its students and/or recent graduates returned from a senior trip to Myrtle Beach, many of whom have since tested positive.

Bellaire Junior Sports and Shadyside Youth Baseball and Softball Association have suspended league games and practices out of precaution, since some of older siblings on the high school teams.

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