Lowville’s Aidan Zehr (15), center, taps the ball out of bounds while playing defense during the Section 3 Class B boys basketball semi-final game between Lowville and Marcellus at SRC Arena and Event Center at Onondaga Community College in Onondaga County earlier this year. Watertown Daily Times

The start of the winter sports season could be in jeopardy following an update from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office on Monday.

When asked to give a status update regarding winter sports, which are set to begin on Dec. 14 for Section 3 schools, state budget director, Robert Mujica — who has answered questions regarding interscholastic athletics at Gov. Cuomo’s press conferences in the past — cited New York state’s current rising coronavirus infection rate, sowing doubt into the upcoming season.

“As we’re seeing the inclines in different parts of the state, we’re not inclined to go ahead with opening winter sports at this time,” Robert Mujica said. “We’re looking at those numbers, but the numbers right now don’t indicate that we’re going to expand right now. With the exception of skiing, which is an outdoor activity, and we put out the skiing guidance.”

Last week, Section 3 released guidance for when they plan on holding their winter, Fall II and spring seasons. The winter season, which consists of boys and girls basketball, wrestling, ice hockey, boys swimming and diving, boys and girls bowling, competitive cheerleading, rifle, boys and girls winter volleyball and skiing, is supposed to begin on Dec. 14 and run through Feb. 28.

Basketball, wrestling, volleyball, ice hockey and competitive cheer are all considered high risk sports and therefore are unable to compete or conduct contact practices without permission from the governor’s office until Dec. 31.

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