Alabama High School Athletic Association schools will return to the playing field, beginning today.
AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese announced Monday that last week’s swine flu-related postponement of all sports activities among its member schools has been lifted. The schools will follow a tentative schedule the AHSAA arranged and announced Friday.
“While we apologize for the disruption of our original playoff schedule, we made the safe decision for the children of this state and also insured that students at all our member schools would have the opportunity to participate in our postseason athletic events,” Savarese said in an announcement on the association’s Web site.
The AHSAA Central Board of Control and its Medical Advisory Board gave the final go-ahead to resume activities during a Monday meeting after three Huntsville-area school systems reopened Monday. The school systems had closed last week after two cases of swine flu were reported at one of the city’s elementary schools.
The announcement means Central-Phenix City, Smiths Station and Russell County will begin preparation for the track, golf and softball.
Central is hosting the Class 6A Area 7 softball tournament that begins today. The AHSAA track and field championships have been consolidated at Gulf Shores, Ala., instead of the 1A-3A and 4A-6A split with the smaller schools competing at Troy, Ala. The 1A-3A schools will compete Thursday and Friday; the bigger schools will compete Friday and Saturday.
“We’re glad that everything has been arranged and we can kind of prepare and get on with it,” said Smiths Station associate athletic director Sherry Paysinger. “We’re close to the end of school. We need to get all of these playoffs in because graduation is coming up in the next couple of weeks.”
The school’s highly regarded track program will depart this week for the state championship meet in Gulf Shores, as will athletes from Central and Russell County.
Smiths Station’s golf team already has lef for its golf sub-state tournament today in the Mobile area. The state tournament will be played as originally scheduled next Monday and Tuesday in Prattville, Ala.