Bristol Township School District Suspends Fall Sports

The Bristol Township defense goes in for a tackle against the Morrisville Bulldogs. Photo via WBCB Sports

The Bristol Township School District has axed many of its extracurricular activities for this upcoming fall, including all fall sports.

BTSD Superintendent Dr. Melanie Gehrens made the announcement in a letter earlier this week. She expressed hope for an opportunity for school athletes to compete later in the school year.

“Weighing the importance of the physical and mental well-being of our student athletes against the health and safety of the Bristol Township community at large is a challenging task. While BTSD wishes circumstances were different and COVID-19 cases were more stable, they are not.”

Band and cheerleading are also off the table as they have no games at which to perform.

Gehrens added there may be a coming plan “to continue voluntary off-season workouts after the start of the academic year.” Her full statement is available here.

The decision comes after the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association voted recently to allow local schools to make their own decisions. With the ball in their court, BTSD has still opted out of high school fall sports.

Earlier this week, Bucks County Department of Health Director Dr. David Damsker encouraged local schools to try fall athletics. He noted stabilizing coronavirus numbers, including low hospitalization rates.

“Given the improving COVID situation in Bucks County, the PIAA’s recent determination to allow athletics on a local basis makes for a good fit here,” said Damsker.

Other local school districts have also been less than eager to start fall athletics. The Pennsbury School Board will be voting at their September 18 meeting about which sports to allow, if any.

The Bristol Wardogs 6U Team. Photo via Coach Donald Crawley Sr.

Meantime, the Bristol Township Wardogs Athletics program will still move forward with its recreational football team. Practices began earlier this month, according to a statement on the program’s website.

“Wardogs Football has weighed all of the factors and along with Bristol Township have determined that the positives outweigh the negatives. With school staying virtual for the time being it is important that our younger kids have the ability to get outside, socialize and invest in something that motivates them.”