LATHAM – The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has selected members to serve on a COVID-19 task force to examine potential impacts of the crisis on the fall 2020 season and the 2020-21 school year.
Task force members were selected by NYSPHSAA President Paul Harrica with input and consultation from NYSPHSAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas. The task force is composed of NYSPHSAA member superintendents, principals, athletic directors and executive directors in addition to representatives from the New York State Athletic Administrators Association and the state Education Department. It is anticipated the committee will meet for the first time in late May or early June.
“The goal of this task force is to bring together a group of experienced administrators and professionals to examine potential impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the upcoming school year and to provide guidance and recommendations to the 11 sections of NYSPHSAA,” said Harrica.
“At this time, we are planning to start fall sports on Aug. 24,” stated Dr. Zayas. “With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis, I want to make sure we are prepared to focus attention on keeping student/athletes engaged in their school communities and active while also abiding by Department of Health and Governor Cuomo’s guidelines. We must have innovative and creative thought to provide beneficial participation playing experience for students.”
Harrica will be the chairman of the task force committee, along with NYSPHSAA Vice President Julie Bergman (Section 4), 2nd Vice President Russell Bartlett (Section 10), immediate past President Jim Osborne (Section 9), incoming 2nd Vice President Tim Mullins (Section 11) and past President Steve Broadwell (Section 7). Zayas will also be on the task force, as will Jim Dexter (Section 2), who was named as the district superintendent.
Dr. Ivan Katz (Section 9) was named as superintendent of the East area and Adam Stoltman (Section 6) superintendent of the West region, while Tom Combs (Section 11) and Matt Walentuk (Section 7) were named as East section executive directors, while Kathy Hoyt (Section 5) and Carl Normandin (Section 10) were announced as west section executive directors.
Jim Mackin (Section 1) was tabbed as principal of the east region, with Paul Gasparini (Section 3) principal of the west region, while Chris Ceruti (Section 8) and Scott Barker (Section 5) named as athletic directors of east and west, respectively.
Also taking part on the task force committee will be Dr. Jim Wright (Section 11), Rick Knizek (Section 2), Chris Durdon (Section 4), with Dennis Burkett and two unnamed participants from the New York State Education Department and the state Department of Health.
Listed as consultants to the task force are NYSPHSAA Assistant Directors Joe Altieri and Todd Nelson, along with Renee James (legal counsel) and Kevin Banes (governmental affairs).