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Lucas County coaches urge health department to reconsider sports shutdown

The Lucas County health order requires all 7-12 grade students to learn virtually, and all on-campus activities to pause, from Dec. 4-Jan. 11.

LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio — As the seconds ticked off the clock Thursday night, what should have been post-game celebrations for winning teams was overshadowed by the looming shutdown for Lucas County schools.

An order went into effect on Friday, barring activities from continuing on school grounds until Jan. 11. 

The move has coaches like Northview’s head coach, Jeremey McDonald, pleading for the health department to reconsider.

"They have been compliant in this whole thing. All over the country, the health experts have asked us to trust the experts. Our kids have done that; wearing masks, social distancing, all the extra things," he said. "Now, we are asking the Lucas County health department to trust those experts." 

Anthony Wayne's head coach Josh Arthur had a long post-game talk with his team. The Generals are holding out hope, but also forming a game plan until they can be together again.

"We are going to work out virtually," Arthur said. "Everything in life is about hope. We can still hope that we get to come back. Regardless of what happens, we will follow the rules. We will make sure every kid in that locker room is ready come January."

McDonald among several area coaches has been vocal about the issue. His letter to the health department caught their attention but ultimately didn’t change the outcome. Coaches feel their kids are safer with them than without.

"It is the absolute wrong decision. We respect the coronavirus and the pandemic. It is a terrible thing, but our kids have done their part. They are safer with us," McDonald said. "If we take this away from them, then they will go out in the community and we will find out if they are spreaders or not. When they are here with us they are structured. It's the safest place for them."

The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department does have the ability to change the order and members have said they will reconsider if COVID-19 numbers drop in the coming weeks.