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Schools suspend sports due to health concerns

Scranton and Old Forge School School Districts have decided to temporarily halt athletics and extracurricular activities until further notice.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — The scoreboard is dimmed and fields are empty at both Scranton and Old Forge High Schools.

Both school districts have paused all athletics and extracurricular activities until further notice.

"To say that they're going to cancel fall sports, you know, it's sad for the kids that lost their spring sports this year, and now they're going to lose their fall sports coming up this year," said Kevin Donovin, a Scranton High School parent. "I don't agree with it. Hopefully, they can figure something out."

Officials at both school districts decided over the weekend to halt all activities and sports because of recent coronavirus spikes. School officials say it's all about keeping students and staff safe and healthy.

"Hearing from my coaches and parents and my administrators and myself, we want the kids out on the field," said Ted Anderson, Scranton High School athletic director. "We want them playing, we want them off the couches, and this is what we live for to see the kids out there participating and being active, and we don't want this at all, but right now it's probably a good move just to keep everybody safe."

Anderson said that sports are not canceled for the entire pre-season or fall season. This is a temporary pause on all voluntary workouts.

School leaders say they'll consider a change come mid-August.

While the gates are locked at Scranton High School, the athletic director says this shouldn't stop athletes from getting out and getting ready to get back on the field.

"I feel like if we're just careful of what we do and follow the guideline, we'll be OK," said Taylor Zombek, student-athlete.

Both school districts will continue to monitor the pandemic and will make changes if need be.

School officials say although the athletes are taking a seat on the bench now, it's all in hopes that they can score later on.

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