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Owen AD Lee: No losses for school despite sports, football postponed

Ty Roush
Black Mountain News
Charles D. Owen High School

BLACK MOUNTAIN - Owen High School athletic director Anthony Lee is still hopeful that his school will be able to play fall sports in 2020.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced Aug. 12 that fall sports teams will not hold tryouts or practices until Nov. 4. This follows an Aug. 8 decision to postpone sports to an undetermined date beyond Sept. 1.

With an updated NCHSAA schedule for fall sports, cross country and volleyball will begin Nov. 4. A spring football season will start Feb. 4, with the first games starting Feb. 26. 

After holding practices since June, Lee said athletes were optimistic to return.

“They were really excited about it because we haven’t seen them in a long time, since March,” Lee said. “It’s good to see their faces, they were eager to come back and start working hard.”

Head football coach Nathan Padgett said he was “not really shocked” to have his team’s season postponed until February.

“I kind of assumed that would come down when you look at a lot of the major colleges and universities that are postponing their sports to the spring,” Padgett said. “I knew it was just a matter of time before it trickled down to us.”

In the absence of a fall football season, Lee said that while the athletic program generates “a lot” through the sport, there were no concerns for any losses.

“The key thing is right now, we’re not really doing anything,” he said. “So we’re not spending money.”

Complemented with a lack of spending, a season during the fall would still bring restrictions impacting income, Lee added. Restrictions on attendance would equal affected ticket prices that might impact ticket sales and how much money could be generated.

Even with a postponed season, he still expects that same money to be generated in the spring.

“In this particular area, and in a lot of areas, people just love high school athletics,” Lee said. Though he does expect the colder February weather to affect attendance, he believes “they’ll show up just to be able to get out and watch kids play.”

Despite the season being postponed, Lee maintains his optimism for fall sports still being played.

“We’re all in hopes that we’re still going to have football this year, just like many other conferences,” Lee said. “We’re just hoping that form of athletics is going to start this year.

“My reaction, with football being pushed as far February or even just athletics, I’m a little bit disappointed. We’re just hopeful something’s going to happen this year, that we’ll be able to play some.”