DPS board OKs football, other fall sports to play games

Dayton Public Schools football teams, including Belmont and Dunbar (pictured) will play games starting the weekend of Sept. 17-19. FILE PHOTO
Dayton Public Schools football teams, including Belmont and Dunbar (pictured) will play games starting the weekend of Sept. 17-19. FILE PHOTO

After close vote, football teams will be able to get three games in before playoffs

Dayton’s school board on Tuesday narrowly approved allowing the district’s sports teams to return to full competition in the coming weeks.

Dayton Public Schools was one of a handful of local districts that halted fall sports activities at the end of July, on the recommendation of Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County. Then Aug. 28, the board allowed fall sports teams to resume practice and conditioning.

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DPS has six high schools, plus some middle school sports programs. Athletic Director Victoria Jones made a presentation to the school board Tuesday, explaining which sports would start when, where a few coaches are still needed, and what safety protocols will be followed.

The board’s vote was 4-2-1 in favor of returning to competition, with Jocelyn Rhynard and William Harris voting no, and Gabriela Pickett abstaining.

Rhynard said she had “conflicting thoughts” and asked questions about the differing levels of safety of indoor vs. outdoor sports and contact vs. non-contact sports, plus procedures for testing and quarantine if an athlete tests positive.

Jones said the district will follow health department protocols on who gets quarantined in the case of a positive test. She also pointed out that there are compliance steps that teams must follow, or health department monitors will shut them down.

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The first day of school was Tuesday, and the district’s students are taking classes remotely for at least the first quarter. Other high schools, including Fairmont and Northmont, also are playing fall sports while students take classes online.

Jones said DPS high school football teams will begin play on the weekend of Sept. 17-19. That’s Week 4 of Ohio’s abbreviated six-game season, allowing DPS teams to play three regular-season games, then participate in the state playoffs, which begin the weekend of Oct. 9.

Jones said there’s also the possibility for teams eliminated from the state playoffs to play more games against each other, up to Nov. 14.

DPS football teams will play each other during the regular-season weeks, and some will also play against Trotwood-Madison, which just reinstated its fall sports programs as well. Ticket availability will be limited and will be done via presale, not at the gate.

Jones said girls volleyball teams will have time for eight games before the state playoffs begin Oct. 19. Boys soccer teams will be able to play five games before the tournament, while girls soccer teams are looking for games, as many teams are already committed. The district’s cross country teams will be able to hold three dual meets each, then a city tournament before the state tournament.

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Jones said the district’s girls tennis teams want to move their season to spring so they can have a more complete season. She said the girls will have to participate with boys teams, but said they’re OK with that.

DPS will not have middle school football this year, with Jones saying coach staffing was the major issue.