OHSAA Commissioner holds on to hopes for spring and fall sports

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio High School Athletic Association Commissioner Jerry Snodgrass is upbeat by nature, and he’s attempting to find windows of opportunity during one of the most trying times in modern American history.

NBC4 Sports Director Jerod Smalley spoke with Snodgrass Friday, one day after the OHSAA officially canceled the winter sports championships in basketball, wrestling and hockey. They are the first state tournament cancellations since World War II. 

With an uncertain timeline on when, or if, students will return to school this school year, Snodgrass and his staff are hanging on to hopes to give spring sports athletes a chance to play this year. 

“Where we get into some issues is extending into the summer,” Snodgrass says. “We’re trying to hang on as long as we can to get some semblance of a season in.” 

Snodgrass says he’s heard from numerous students and coaches across the state about the loss of high school sports, and he says many students have displayed maturity about the ongoing pandemic and how they can play a positive role in slowing the spread. 

“They’re going to help win a battle for something they’re never going to see a trophy for,” he says.

While spring sports seem unlikely, it’s also possible fall sports delays or cancellations could be coming. Snodgrass says he’s asked his staff to start making contingency plans now in case the pandemic continues well into the summer, or beyond. 

The OHSAA estimates it lost about $1.5 million in revenue from the cancellation of the winter state tournaments. 

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