Teams to Begin Competing By End of March
TAUNTON — Superintendent-Director Dr. Alexandre Magalhaes and Athletic Director Thomas Rodrigues are pleased to report that Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School will compete in the upcoming Fall II athletics season.
This year’s traditional fall sports season was postponed statewide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision to compete in the upcoming season was made after consultation with the Taunton Health Board and following the release of new athletic guidelines and the easing of restrictions on transportation. Additionally, the City of Taunton and surrounding communities have seen a steady decline in the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past several weeks.
A total of eight sports will be played this season, including football, boys and girls soccer, cross country, golf, cheerleading, ice hockey and girls volleyball. Only teams at the varsity level will compete.
Bristol-Plymouth did not compete in any sports during the winter season, however several Mayflower Athletic Conference schools that participated in winter basketball reported positive results with their seasons.
“With the guidelines around participation loosening we thought it was appropriate to opt in to the upcoming Fall II season,” Athletic Director Rodrigues said. “In addition to it being deemed safe enough by local health experts, we also feel that resuming athletics is in the best interest of our student body. Sports give students the opportunity to have positive social interactions and it builds school spirit. Our students have had a lot to overcome this year, and especially for our seniors this will be a great way to begin to return to normal.”
Athletic Director Rodrigues said the feedback about opting into the upcoming Fall II season has been highly positive.
The district will be following strict health and safety guidelines laid out by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (the state agency that provides COVID-19 guidance for youth sports) in concert with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association. This will include constant mask-wearing, social distancing, sanitization of equipment, and keeping records of attendance for potential contact tracing. The district will also follow busing guidelines set by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Additionally, all coaches will be required to take COVID-19 awareness training through the National Federation of High School Sports, and Athletic Director Rodrigues and a school athletic trainer will serve as site supervisors in charge of overseeing COVID-19 protocol adherence at practices and games.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions fans will not be permitted at indoor sporting events, but it is still being considered whether to allow minimal fans — such as only select family members — at outdoor games.
The B-P football team will begin practicing March 3 in preparation for the season, with other sports starting their practices March 10. Competition with other schools will begin by the end of March, with full schedules for each team to be posted on the district’s website.
“We are very eager to get our teams back practicing and competing, now that it has been deemed safe to do so,” Superintendent Magalhaes said. “This has been a difficult year for everyone but our students have remained vigilant and dedicated, and getting back to competing in sports against other schools is a very positive step toward returning to a normal way of life for our entire school community.”
For more information about Bristol-Plymouth’s upcoming Fall II season, click here.