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NCHSAA extends date to bring back high school athletics

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WAKE FOREST - In response to Governor Roy Cooper's executive order closing all North Carolina public schools through May 15th, North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Commissioner Que Tucker released the following statement:

"Having heard the updated information relative to schools remaining closed until the middle of May, NCHSAA interscholastic athletics will remain suspended until at least May 18."

Governor Cooper made the announcement Monday at a televised press conference. Tucker made the decision about three hours later.

"The NCHSAA Board of Directors and staff will use the next few weeks to weigh our future decisions based on the new directions given by Governor Cooper, other government leaders and organizations charged with public health and safety during this unprecedented time," Tucker said. "Such decisions will include the possible resumption of spring sports' competition and the possibility of holding the state basketball championships."

The original deadline to bring back high school athletics was April 6. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak affecting all schools and athletics across the world, the NCHSAA decided to take safety precautions by extending the date to May 18.

"While we remain hopeful that we will be able to resume competition, particularly for our senior student-athletes, we also recognize the need to protect the health and safety of our students, coaches and the communities we serve," Tucker said.

This announcement has affected all local high school athletics, causing senior students to miss out the majority of their final season playing for their respective school. State playoffs were originally scheduled during the second week of May. That will have to change.

Rolesville High School athletic director Tom Kinkelaar responded to Tucker's announcement, saying that everyone's health is the main priority.

"It's a very trying time," Kinkelaar said. "I feel bad for our athletes, especially our seniors, who may not have a final year to their careers. We are prepared to pick up a makeshift schedule if we are able to play again this school year. We must not forget that the health of everyone is the main objective here and many sacrifices will have to be made to ensure that. I wish everyone good health and I hope they take this time to reconnect with their families."

More updates on this story will be released the following weeks based on the COVID-19 outbreak will spread throughout the world and if it will be contained before May.