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Halloween is just around the corner so we shouldn't be fazed by the fact the coronavirus has reared its ugly head again. It's been one eerie year, that's for sure, so I, for one, am no longer shocked by anything that happens.

The experts warned us months ago of a second wave of COVID-19 and now the virus has found its way into a Tioga County school district. It doesn't really affect the interscholastic athletic scenario, but an elementary school located just down the street from me has reported a positive case in one of its classroom.

Of course, the coronavirus has been looming over Valley-area athletics for several weeks now. Just south of the border, Athens has had two Northern Tier League football games postponed due to COVID-19 ramifications. The Wildcats' Week 2 game against Canton was postponed and the Athens-Towanda football game was delayed three days.

Meanwhile, Sayre was supposed to visit Troy in football, girls soccer and volleyball this week, but the Trojans have postponed all athletic events through Oct. 12 due to COVID-19. Canton, which borders the Troy district, has done the same. The coronavirus has also affected Towanda.

An interesting side note to all this is the fact the NTL has played three golf matches within Section IV borders in the past 15 days while Section IV players are prohibited from doing likewise. That is due to the fact the section voted overwhelmingly, 59-10, to postpone (with one school abstaining) and go with the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's condensed seasons plan.

As it turns out, Section IV was one of just four sections which voted to postpone. The others were Section IX (which borders us to the southeast), and the two Long Island sections (Section VIII and Section XI).

Clearly, the fall interscholastic situation in New York is unique and is certainly offering up some interesting challenges to athletes and coaches alike. I recently emailed all the fall varsity coaches at Candor, Newark Valley, Owego and Spencer-Van Etten, seeking inputs about how things are going during the pandemic. I will be publishing the comments of those who respond later this week. Coaches, if you did not receive the email, please let me know.

Anyhow, it doesn't appear that I will be returning to my full-time position at the website until the four schools in the Tioga County Sports Report coverage area resume competition. Let's just hope it's sooner rather than later.

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