COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As college and professional sports deal with COVID-19 issues during this latest surge, high school sports are also dealing with them.

City league basketball had six games postponed last Friday because of COVID-19 cases, according to Dr. Vincent Clarno Director of Student Activities for Columbus City Schools (CCS). 

“It has been a daunting task and it changes the process of how you roll out this opportunity for kids. It’s been a true challenge trying to navigate through everything two years into it,” said Dr. Clarno.

“I would have never thought we would still be here this long into the process, to be very honest.”

The district has been using the ‘Test to Play‘ program since October. It allows asymptomatic athletes who’ve been close contacts but test negative to return sooner. Dr. Sara Bode, CCS Medical Consultant, says between Test to Play and mask wearing during the school day, she’s hopeful seasons will go on.

But she says there’s a chance more re-scheduling will be needed.

“We’re likely to have more events that have to get postponed or canceled this winter season, but it won’t be all and that’s because we have these things in place,” said. Dr. Bode. “There is COVID in our communities and it’s at a higher rate right now. We are going to continue to see students and student athletes come up positive for COVID.” 

One of Friday’s games postponed was the Africentric Girls basketball game. Only five players were at the team’s Monday practice. Head coach Janicia Anderson says more than half the team is out due to either positive COVID-19 tests or close contacts waiting for test results to come back.

The team’s next game is January 4th. “So we have a little time, but it hurts because we want to practice in full during the entire break,” she said. “We haven’t experienced until now, Christmas break, a real setback of players being out testing positive.” She’s been seeing the issues at the college and professional levels.

“It’s just been like a huge like, oh here we go, because if it hits those levels hard you know it’s coming our way,” she said. 

The city league is not the only league dealing with this. Other leagues have also had to postpone games. Anderson is hoping this is the only interruption her team has to deal with.

“I just keep telling these young ladies to be positive, maximize their time and we just hope things get better,” Anderson said.