C-SD Football Coach Parker’s update on 2020 season

Gaven Parker

CAMBRIDGE — Vikings’ Football Head Coach Gaven Parker released a statement on social media on Thursday, following Superintendent W. David Bromwell’s interview on WHCP Radio 101.5’s Cambridge Community Conversations, in which Mr. Bromwell said it seemed unlikely there would be fall sports this season. Though the decision has not been made in Dorchester, the coronavirus situation has already shut down seasons in other districts.

Keeping athletes, coaches and fans safe from exposure during games and practices is a challenge that school and professional sports are facing across the nation during the current pandemic.

“I have received calls in response to Superintendent Bromwell’s comments on fall sports. His comments were directed at the logistics of the season and the problems they cause during the COVID era,” Coach Parker wrote. “I support his opinion and his decision to continue our no off season workouts. Although other counties have started team training, it is not worth the risk of possible exposure to the virus.”

Mr. Bromwell was speaking during one in a series of interviews livestreamed on WHCP’s Facebook and YouTube accounts. The moderator of the discussion was Dr. Theresa Stafford, who provided him with questions, many of which were from the participating audience.
“Several local counties on the Eastern Shore aren’t even allowing students in the buildings,” Mr. Bromwell said when the discussion turned to the possibility of fall sports. “How can we put players in a locker room?”

He said it could be helpful to consider the “billion-dollar” professional sports franchises, who themselves are struggling to find a way to hold their games safely. “I know we don’t have the funding to implement an athletic bubble,” Mr. Bromwell said.

And that’s for the home games and practices. As for road games, he said, it is questionable that the school could afford to send players on the five or six buses that would be required under distancing rules.

With each bus costing the school about $300 per trip, the cost for one game, never mind the whole season, would be higher than ever.
Noting the value of sports in keeping students involved in school — with grades high enough to qualify for teams — Mr. Bromwell mentioned a plan under consideration in Virginia. Schools there might go to a three-season plan, beginning in January.

Assuming the health situation has improved sufficiently by then, this would allow fall, winter and spring sports each to have a season of about two months.

“Athlete and coach safety is our number one priority. At this time, fall sports have not been officially canceled, the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) and the Bayside Conference are continuing to monitor and make the best decisions they can for the students,” Coach Parker said. “The coaches and athletes of the C-SD football program are going to continue to prepare for the season to the best of our ability. Although I feel the likely hood of a traditional Football season are not high, I am hopeful that the MPSSAA can find a safe solution for high school students to participate in all the available sports teams. Please stay safe and remain flexible.”