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No basketball, no hockey at Westford Academy–another reason to wish for the demise of COVID-19.
An emotionally charged meeting sparked by Superintendent Bill Olsen’s recommendation to disallow the contact sports of hockey and basketball, to prevent the virus from spreading, weathered a string of commentators agreeing and disagreeing with Olsen’s position.
School Committee members on Dec. 7th voted 4 to 3 to support his recommendation.
At WA, Alpine and Nordic skiing will run as usual, benefiting from the outdoor venue. Gymnastics and Aquatics will be virtual.
“My role and one of the roles of a superintendent is to be the custodian of the health and safety of students and staff,” Olsen said.
Olsen invited several physicians to the meeting including Dr. Joan Eagan of Emerson Hospital who agreed with his recommendation. Eagan said she expects to see the number of COVID cases increase by next week — the result of families spending the Thanksgiving holiday together.
“I think our community spread is going to continue,” she said.
Eagan’s colleague, James Sheehy, a pediatric specialist, and a propronent of sports for kids, also agreed with Olsen.
“I’m keenly aware of how this will affect the mental health of children,” he said. “This is an epidemic within this pandemic.”
Finally, all the hopes and dreams of the Westford Academy athletes who want nothing more than to play their game, was summed up by WA senior Ellie Nolan.
“We’re ready to do whatever it takes to have this season,” she said.
Watch the entire meeting on demand at westfordcat.org.