Calhoun Softball Field - March 13, 2020

A view of Calhoun High School’s softball field with the high school and soccer field in the background on March 13.

With coronavirus declared as a global pandemic and states and municipalities across the United States closing schools and businesses, the rippling effect on the local education and sports landscape is undeniable.

Last Thursday afternoon, the GHSA announced it was encouraging schools to follow Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s directive that gave the go ahead for schools to close if they felt it was necessary.

“I think it’s going to go how this virus spreads,” Gordon Central Athletic Director Matt Swanson said in a phone interview Friday. “I just know we won’t be playing sports until April 13.”

Within 24 hours of the governor’s recommendation, Calhoun City Schools and Gordon County Schools decided to close schools and suspend athletics until at least Friday, March 27. At the time, the plan was to reevaluate the situation then.

Fast forward to Monday, when Gov. Kemp signed an executive order closing all public elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools from March 18 through March 31.

With the governor’s order, expect all athletic activities, including meetings and practices, to be suspended until at least April 1.

“As far as sports goes, we will not participating in anything until after April 13,” Swanson said. “I completely support our county’s decision. Our county (is) being proactive with what the governor said.”

Monday, April 13, was the decision as spring break falls the week before.

“As long as there will be no school, there will be no practice,” Swanson said. “As far as competition goes, we’ll always follow the lead of what our district says. I know we’re all sports fans, but this is a lot bigger than sports.”

Swanson said closures and athletics suspensions would be reviewed and adjusted as necessary down the road, but with Kemp’s order to keep schools shut until the end of the month, that reevaluation period could move well into April.

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