Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all Athens Academy extracurricular activities, including sports and fine arts, were suspended or canceled beginning on March 13.
On March 12, the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) director Robin Hynes advised all high schools to suspend spring sports activities until at least March 30. Athens Academy responded by suspending its spring sports activities the next day.
“The GHSA and Athens Academy are concerned with each and every student-athlete’s wellbeing and safety,” said Kevin Petroski, Athens Academy’s athletic director. “We are all finding ourselves in a unique and challenging situation; not being able to continue the spring athletic season has been difficult for all involved, including the athletes and coaches, but more so for the seniors.”
Sports were only the first domino to fall when it came to canceled extracurriculars. All fine arts concerts, including orchestra, band, and chorus concerts, have been either canceled or postponed due to public safety hazards and time restrictions.
“I'm upset about the concert being canceled, but at this point it is necessary,” said Debbie Schab, the Upper School orchestra teacher. “This is an unusual and challenging situation. I think everyone understands.”
Schab has been handling the online learning well, but also feels sorrow for the senior class. “I know how disappointed the seniors are right now with so many big events being cancelled or postponed,” Schab said. “Senior year is such a special time and COVID-19 has changed our seniors’ year in profound ways. The uncertainty is difficult for everyone.”
Another large fine arts event that was canceled due to the coronavirus was the spring play Mythology’s Daughter: The Moment. This play was written by 7 students, which made it unique.
“We had only been in rehearsals for a week,” said Lorraine Thompson, the Upper School drama teacher in charge of both the one act and spring plays. “If this had just been a normal spring play, I would have canceled it. But this wasn’t a normal play, and I felt like the writers and I should be in communication until I heard from the school what they wanted to do. So I met with them, and they did want to continue it as long as they could over video chat. Right after that I was informed that their play needed to be canceled because we weren’t going to be back in school enough and so many factors we were dealing with.”
Although the play has been canceled, we should still see some acting performances in our near future.
“We are continuing to work in acting classes,” Thompson said. “I’m planning on a digital acting showcase. So the kids could still perform and people could see what they are working on.”
Stay tuned for updates about virtual events that will be held in lieu of in-person games and performances.