Plymouth Whitemarsh High School football players protest the decision to not play season

A group of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School football players and parents held a protest outside the school on Friday evening over the decision by the Colonial School Board to not allow the team to compete this fall. All other fall sports were permitted to move forward. Below is a video of the protest and below that will be details on how the decision was made.

The Colonial School Board voted on the issue during its August 27th meeting. Superintendent Dr. Michael Christian outlined guidance adopted by the Montgomery County that was created by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Policy Lab. You can view this guidance here.

The guidance outlines under what conditions in regards to the pandemic certain sports and other activities can be played or held. Montgomery County falls within the “stable or declining” category as its positivity rate is currently just over 3%. Sports that involve a high amount of contact, such as football are recommended to only be permitted to participate in non-contact drills.

Volleyball which isn’t specifically mentioned in the guidance also raised a flag because it is played inside and does involve some contact. However, the school is researching how to play outside.

The day after the Colonial School board voted to allow sports, but not football, principals and athletic directors from all 24 schools that compete in the Suburban One League met to determine if fall sports could go forward. The vote was 21 of 24 to play fall sports. Plymouth Whitemarsh was among the 21, but with the caveat of no football. Cheltenham voted no to all fall sports and two schools abstained.

The high school football season looks like it will be very limited. The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association pushed back the start date of when games could be played. Even if played, Plymouth Whitemarsh’s regular season would have been just five games (according to Dr. Christian pointed out that due to the guidance this schedule could have been even further reduced due to a recommendation to not play outside the county. One team on the original schedule was located in Bucks County.