We made it through the first week without high school sports. The question now is, how many more are left?
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Congratulations everyone. You survived the first week without high school sports. The question everyone wants an answer to now is how many more weeks like this will there be?

I certainly don't know the answer to that question, but I think we're going to be in this situation for quite awhile. The current NCHSAA suspension runs through Apr. 6. I have no inside knowledge about discussions inside the NCHSAA this week (their offices are closed too), but I think it is highly unlikely the suspension is lifted on Apr. 6. In fact, I don't think the suspension is going to be lifted this school year. NC State Superintendent Mark Johnson told WRAL this week that this will be "a multi-week, maybe multi-month event." If school is closed, there's no way athletics are happening.

This probably means spring sports are over and basketball state championships probably aren't happening. We'll wait to get official word before we write them all off, but reality is beginning to set in for me. I just hope we can get through this in time for football to get back on a normal schedule at some point this summer.

We're going to continue tracking all of this and I hope this version of this newsletter ages poorly. I hope in a few weeks we look back on this email and say I was being Negative Nick or an alarmist or something like that. I will be perfectly fine with being wrong.

Let's look at some positive stuff though...
NCBCA releases all-state teams
The N.C. Basketball Coaches Association released its all-state teams for boys & girls basketball. Congratulations to the Players of the Year: North Meck's Tristan Maxwell and Newton-Conover's Chyna Cornwell. And another congratulations to the Coaches of the Year: Farmville Central's Larry Williford and E.E. Smith's Dee Hardy.
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Key Points
  • Prep Baseball Report released updated Class of 2020 rankings on Friday. The rankings include the top 300 players from NC, including 10 players committed to East Carolina and NC State. See the rankings here.
  • Joe Sirera of The Greensboro News & Record had a very interesting story about foreign exchange students in the Triad area and how they're coping with coronavirus, thinking of their families back home.
  • ESPN Senior Writer Wayne Drehs gave his take on the coronavirus situation and high school sports. Yes, it has taken sports away from the Class of 2020, but Wayne says it has given perspective.
North Meck leads boys basketball West rankings
We're continuing to release our basketball post-regional rankings this weekend. Friday's release was the boys basketball west rankings. North Mecklenburg & Concord First Assembly lead the way.
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"Benched" adds a podcast
As it becomes clear that we're going to have to cope with the pandemic for some time, HighSchoolOT is growing its "Benched" brand to include a regularly updated podcast, hosted by me! We'll try to make this fun and insightful.
More Info

What's next?
We still have more coming your way this weekend.

Girls basketball rankings will be released on Saturday and Sunday. The East rankings come on Saturday, followed by the West on Sunday.

You'll also get our first "Benched" podcast this weekend. For more information about the new podcast, click here.

Have story ideas or suggestions? Let me know. My email address is nstevens@wral.com.

Have a great Saturday!


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