BIXBY vs. STILLWATER

Stillwater’s Qwontrel Walker makes a long run against Bixby in the 6A Division II championship football game last December in Edmond. On Monday, the Pioneers suspended the start of summer conditioning work following a surge of coronavirus cases in the city. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

The Stillwater and Perkins-Tyron school districts suspended summer conditioning workouts in the wake of a spike in Payne County coronavirus cases over the past week.

Perkins-Tryon suspended workouts until July 15 after learning an individual testing positive for the virus has had direct contact with several students in recent days.

The district will re-evalutate the situation in its July 6 board of education meeting, according to a statement from Joe McElroy, Perkins-Tryon superintendent.

Stillwater announced that it was suspending workouts for at least two days and would reassess the situation and make a decision about Wednesday.

Both districts had planned to begin summer conditioning drills Monday, bringing student-athletes back on campus for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March.

Full preseason practice for the fall activities of cross country, fall baseball, fast-pitch softball and volleyball are scheduled to begin July 15.

Tulsa Public Schools and many other area districts opened conditioning drills last week, using safety guidelines developed by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, state agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jenks, Broken Arrow and TPS were among the districts reporting Monday that they were continuing drills but monitoring the situation for potential changes.

Perkins had planned to condition for two weeks and then observe the OSSAA dead period (June 27-July 5), even though the OSSAA Board of Directors voted to waive the dead period for the summer of 2020.

Bruce Williams, Perkins football coach and athletic director, called the suspension “disappointing because we’ve been stuck inside for a long time. We understand that our athletes want to get back to some sense of normalcy, but from the school district’s standpoint, we’re doing the best we can to preserve our (autumn sports) and we felt another two weeks in June (without workouts) weren’t going to make or break our athletic department.”

Oklahoma saw a new single-day high in new coronavirus cases Saturday with 222. Stillwater had 22 new cases Saturday and an additional 25 over the previous five days, more than tripling the overall total of 22 it had over the previous 2½ months.

“Due to the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases in Payne County over the last few days, Stillwater Public Schools is cancelling summer activities for … June 15 & 16,” read a statement on the district’s website. “We will reassess the COVID-19 pandemic situation on Tuesday and make a determination for Wednesday.”

Mike Brown

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