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  • James Townsend

Extension to pause order keeps local high school athletes sidelined… for now

On December 7th, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services extended orders putting a pause on many gatherings, in-person instruction for high school students, and organized sports. The pause was set to expire on December 8th. With the extension, local high school athletes will remain out of action until at least December 20th.

The only remaining local fall team in in the Portland community still competing in post season action is the football team at St. Patrick School. After beating Colon on November 14th, their next contest is slated to be the 8-player Division 2 state semi-final game against Kinde North Huron. The initial pause announced on November 18th pushed that game date to December 15th, but the new date has not been announced since the extension.

Winter high school sports impacted by the pause include St. Patrick’s girls and boys basketball programs as well as the bowling teams. For Portland High, paused winter activities include girls and boys basketball, bowling, competitive cheer and wrestling.

In response to the announcement, Mark Uyl, executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association issued a statement saying, “We realize the crisis our medical caregivers and first responders are navigating and understand the need to continue the pause. However, the MHSAA had provided a detailed plan to both Governor Whitmer and MDHHS that would have completed fall tournaments with no spectators as safely as possible during the month of December along with allowing winter sport practices to resume. While we are disappointed in today’s announcement, we will continue to look forward as we remain committed to play three sports seasons to their conclusion. The MHSAA Representative Council will meet on Wednesday of this week to chart out another plan for finishing Fall and restarting Winter.”

The MHSAA said that it’s Representative Council will meet on December 9th to discuss the next steps for Fall tournaments that remain suspended and Winter sports in the early stages of their seasons.


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