Return of Radnor Sports


Radnor Girls Soccer Practice – Photo Taken By Edy MacKenzie

Edy MacKenzie, Opinions Section Editor

After the cancellation of the Spring seasons and the continual delay of Fall athletics, saying that COVID-19 has severely impacted the world of sports is an understatement. Although activities vary, contact and interaction are at the heart of all athletic practices and events. Whether the longing comes from potential spectators or athletes themselves, all of us are wishing for some return of athletics in Radnor; however, with safety as a top priority during the pandemic, the transition into fall sports has never been rockier.

Athletics benefit communities more than one may realize. Not only do sports contribute to positive physical health, they help build lasting relationships and high school experiences. Mental integrity and socializing are key to any team, as well as to individual athletes. Anyone who was affected by high school athletics before the pandemic understands the severe impact of living without  t them.

Last June, Governor Tom Wolf issued a “strong recommendation,” rather than an order or a mandate, to postpone all fall sports until at least January 1, 2021. The Central League then took it into their own hands to come up with a solution to the fall sports season, one that would ensure safety while also allowing high school students some form of athletics before the new year. They received support and guidance from the CDC, Chester County Health Department, CHOP PolicyLab, and PIAA. After releasing a proposed schedule and their support for implementing sports earlier than the Governor previously suggested, the Central League left it to each districts’ individual board to approve their school’s involvement.

On Tuesday, September 29, the Radnor School Board held a meeting centered on the topic of a possible fall sports season, voting on whether to join ten out of the twelve Central League schools and let students play. Districts such as Lower Merion have already made this decision, and all heads turned to Radnor to see whether or not our school would be willing to participate. Both Superintendent Ken Batchelor and Athletic Director Mike Friel came to present the possibilities, making promising points and recommendations. To the delight of many, the Board voted unanimously to allow participation in the Central League’s fall sports plans; however, not without regulations in place, made and approved by our athletic department, to maintain the safety of students. As of now, teams are still required to wear masks at both practices and games and are prohibited from using the school locker rooms. Whether or not the positive behavior of students participating in athletics will allow for these mandates to be lifted, as was the case at schools such as Strath Haven, is to be determined in the coming weeks.

According to the Central League, teams will only participate in sporting events against teams that are also in the league, a contrast to the schedule of past years. Players are required to have their temperature taken, bring their own equipment, stay apart from others when possible (such as during water breaks), and watch out for possible symptoms. Few details have been released in terms of instruction for spectators, and everyone is interested in how this season will play out. We must keep in mind that this is a new situation, one which requires our district and athletic department to continually work to navigate the Central League’s plans. 

As every sport is different and requires its own set of rules, I encourage you to stay up-to-date about how your sport will specifically look this year. For now, we should celebrate that one piece of normality has returned to us, and gear up for a competitive shortened fall sports season that we’ve been patiently waiting for. Head out to the fields, courts, and tracks, and make our school proud by staying safe and winning events! Go Radnor!