JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Johnson City School Board held a special called meeting Wednesday to discuss safety guidelines regarding fall contact sports. The board added this item to its agenda in next week’s board meeting set for Monday evening.
This meeting was an opportunity to hear all about the safety guidelines that Science Hill is ready to enforce for fall athletics.
“There’s been a lot of ups and downs with this whole process all summer and we’re hopeful we’ve reached that final hurdle of at least having a chance to play,” Science Hill athletic director Keith Turner said.
After months of brainstorming and planning, it’s time to see how this will look.
“Right now we just have to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure we’re doing it safely we’re following protocols and the kids have to do the same thing in their private life too,” Turner said.
“I think they’ve done a fantastic job of taking the rules that the TSSAA has put out and improving on them to make them even better so that we can protect our fans and coaches and students as much as possible,” Johnson City School Board chair and Ballad Health executive vice president Tim Belisle said.
Johnson City’s mayor and city manager spoke during the meeting, to voice support but also to raise concerns. City manager Pete Peterson made some suggestions.
“If there is a concern about the spread of disease through physical contact would it make sense to require your athletes to distance learn maybe you put student athletes in a bubble and you isolate them,” Peterson said to the board.
Board member Michelle Treece is in an interesting position since her son also plays on the Hilltoppers’ football team.
“It’s kinda like I have to put on these two different hats so I’ll say as a parent not a board member this is how I feel and then as a board member.. I hope everybody wins, that’s the key I hope everybody has a positive outcome on some side of this,” Treece said.
Now the board has to decide if this plan is sufficient enough to approve the participation of fall sports in Johnson City.
“So there’s a cost-benefit analysis that has to be done of is the risk greater or less than the benefit that our students will get from participating,” Belisle said.