District confirms Martin-Knox misspoke about SCHSL plans


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Sumter School District confirmed that superintendent Dr. Penelope Martin-Knox misspoke concerning the start times for the South Carolina High School League's conditioning program and practice for fall sports during a school board meeting on Monday, according to an e-mail statement released by the district on Wednesday.

"Dr. Martin-Knox misspoke about conditioning vs. practices," the statement read. "She is meeting this week with the principals and athletic directors to review the plans and the alignment of protecting our students by using the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines."

In the meeting, Martin-Knox said conditioning for fall sports could not take place until Aug. 17, and that no one in the state is currently conditioning. However, It is actually practice that can start on Aug. 17 in a South Carolina High School League plan that was passed by its executive committee last week.

Also, the SCHSL has allowed schools to have weightlifting and conditioning at their own discretion for almost two months. However, Sumter School District has yet to allow the student-athletes at its three high schools - Sumter, Crestwood and Lakewood - to begin the weightlifting and conditioning workouts referred to as Phase 1.

The plan that was passed by a 14-2 voted during a Zoom meeting pushed back the start of practice for all fall sports from July 31 to Aug. 17. Around the first of June, the SCHSL decided that schools could begin conditioning and weightlifting after shutting down the spring sports season for the 2019-20 school year in the middle of March. Phase 1 has remained in place since the beginning.

Many districts around the state are currently having workouts. Some districts did start and shut down and have yet to restart, while some started, shut down and have restarted.

The plan passed by the High School League is not set in stone, however. The SCHSL's appellate panel decided not to vote on Lexington District 1's appeal for the sports plan it presented to the executive committee at the same meeting.

That means the appellate panel could overturn the executive committee's decision. The appellate panel is set to meet again on Aug. 10 at 11 a.m.

The plan presented by Lexington was voted down 16-1 last week. The plan would move football season to early January and move traditional spring sports such as baseball and softball to the fall because of them being low-risk sports.

The appellate panel does have the ability to change the plans.