Summit Academy is 2nd WPIAL school to forgo fall sports

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020 | 11:57 AM


Summit Academy won’t play sports this fall, becoming the second WPIAL school to cancel athletics over covid-19 concerns.

“This has to do with the health and safety of our students and staff members,” said athletic director Ryan Parrish, noting the school for at-risk boys faces challenges different than others. “Our dynamics here as a residential facility were a big thing. … I don’t want to say we have more restrictions but it feels that way.”

The private school in Herman, Butler County sponsors football and boys golf in the fall. Summit’s athletes had worked out this summer preparing for a season, but the shutdown wasn’t a complete surprise for them, Parrish said.

“Since they kind of sensed it coming, maybe it was less of a shock,” he said. “We’re going to see what we can do when things settle down. Maybe we’ll have intramurals on our campus to keep things going.”

The decision to cancel left open weeks for eight football teams already handed a shorter-than-usual schedule.

For now, the WPIAL won’t revise its schedules, executive director Amy Scheuneman said. However, if an opponent becomes available, schools are allowed to fill the open week themselves.

Summit Academy was scheduled to face Leechburg in a scrimmage, and then Shady Side Academy, New Castle, Western Beaver, Apollo-Ridge, Steel Valley, Ligonier Valley and Serra Catholic in the regular season.

New Castle already replaced Summit Academy on its schedule with a game at McKeesport on Sept. 18. McKeesport would’ve faced Uniontown, but the Red Raiders became the first WPIAL school to forgo sports last week. Uniontown’s school board voted to cancel football and soccer seasons.

Leechburg athletic director Andre Carter said he received notice Monday from Summit Academy saying the school decided to not participate in athletics this fall. That left Leechburg’s football team without a scrimmage opponent on the first weekend in September.

Carter planned to ask the WPIAL for guidance.

“Maybe we can get into a tri-scrimmage,” he said.

Summit Academy shared a golf section with Deer Lakes, Eden Christian, North Catholic, Northgate and Winchester Thurston.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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