Athletic Director Mark Kowalski stated Wednesday that the volleyball and football teams held their first practices Monday since the strike began October 1. The football team's return to practice was the first time they have been on the field since defeating Bellaire on September 29th. Kowalski says school board-approved personnel are leading practices.
“We have plenty of qualified people coaching the kids,” Kowalski said. “They are working hard and eager to get back on the field.”
Last week’s game at Buckeye Local was cancelled by Harrison Central, but Kowalski said that this week the Huskies would be ready to play.
“As far as from the athletic department, we are prepared to put the game on, the kids are prepared,” Kowalski said. “We have negotiations set tomorrow (Thursday, October 11) with the board of education and union leadership.”
There may be another wrinkle delaying the kickoff, though. According to Kowalski, Harrison Central’s opponent, Indian Creek has yet to decide if they will go ahead with the game or not. Right now it appears the game is off.
“Indian Creek has stated that they would not be attending, for various reasons,” Kowalski said.
Official word will come following the scheduled negotiations Thursday.
”We are going to wait until tomorrow evening and both superintendents, Mr. Drexler and Mr. Watkins, are going to make the call,” Kowalski said. “As of now, it looks like if the strike continues there will not be a football game Friday night. Indian Creek does not feel comfortable coming if there is a strike ongoing and they would be the one’s to actually pull the plug on the game.”
Kowalski also stated that the volleyball team will compete in the OVAC volleyball championships Saturday, as well as being allowed to participate in the upcoming Ohio sectional tournaments.
Harrison Central’s football team currently remains at 4-2 overall, and despite the no contest that will take the place of a win or loss for both teams from last week’s cancellation, they are still in the hunt for a postseason berth.
“I think the players, the community and everyone involved hopes there is a game Friday night,” Kowalski said. “But more importantly we hope for a quick and fair resolution to the strike.”
Ohio High School Athletic Association Assistant Commissioner John Dickerson stated that he was aware of the strike situation and that the cancelled games would have minimal effect on the computer rankings.
“The divisor simply becomes nine instead of ten,” Dickerson said. “Some teams can not schedule a full slate of 10 games and their divisor would become 9, or 8, whatever they have as the total number of games and the points are figured from there.”