by Hunter Dawkins

Coming off a cinderella story in 2019 and earning their first playoff win in program history, a curveball hit the Pass Christian Pirates program this week in the early summer preparation for next season.

According to officials, a football staff member of Pass Christian Schools tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus). Out of an abundance of caution and in alignment with recommendations of public health officials,  the Pass High School and Middle School football programs are being closed for a two-week period.

“We have notified parents of athletes who have attended practice this summer,” said Coach Tim Ladner, the Athletic Director of Pass Christian School District to The Gazebo Gazette.   “We have asked that they and staff members monitor for COVID-19 symptoms throughout the duration of the closure.”

The Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Executive Committee implemented a return to activity guidelines for member schools during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Mississippi in late May.

After thorough study and deliberation as well as recommendations from medical professionals across the state, the MHSAA Executive Committee approved the following for summer athletics and activities, effective June 1 and for Summer 2020 only:

  • School athletics and fine arts activity programs can begin summer practices, workouts, skill development, weightlifting, conditioning and rehearsals for student-athletes and fine arts participants on June 1, pending Gov. Tate Reeves’ upcoming announcement on a date to reopen all Mississippi school facilities. Athletic coaches and activity directors must confirm with their school and/or district administrators that a specific school facility is open and available for use.
  • Competition in athletics and activities between or among MHSAA member or non-member schools and/or teams is cancelled until school resumes in the fall.
  • All practices, workouts, skill development, weightlifting, conditioning and rehearsals shall be considered voluntary for student athletes and activities participants.
  • School team and school activities participation and travel to summer programs and/or team camps are not allowed. On-campus summer programs and/or school camps should adhere to national, state and local COVID-19 health recommendations.

“The support of our MHSAA member schools has been greatly appreciated as well,” MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinton stated.  “Our highest priority is and always will be the safety, health and welfare of Mississippi’s students, educators and communities.”

“We encourage everyone involved with MHSAA athletics and activities to familiarize themselves with and adhere to the COVID-19 Return to Activity Guidelines document available here. This provides a wealth of valuable information though the expertise of the MHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and experienced educators. These professionals are dedicated to serving the students, staffs, schools and communities of our state. The MHSAA leadership greatly appreciates their hard work and dedication.”

The Gazebo Gazette will follow up with any changes or updates for the Pass Christian School District athletics.