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SPORTS COULD RETURN SOON AT BYRD

By Sports editor Brian Hoffman

The old year went out like a lion and the new year is roaring in at William Byrd High School. The Terriers could be back on the court, mats and in the pool in the near future.

On Tuesday, January 5, the Roanoke County School Board approved the return of regular practices for Roanoke County high school teams, including William Byrd. Games could soon follow under strict guidelines, probably limited to competition between the five Roanoke County schools. In addition to Byrd the county schools include Cave Spring, Hidden Valley, Northside and Glenvar.

“Right now we have to put together a presentation for the school board,” said Byrd athletic director Jason Taylor. “We’re starting in season practice this week but we’re still under the VHSL guidelines.”

Byrd girls’ coach Brad Greenway wasn’t planning on attending the Terriers first “in season”  practice on Wednesday. He contacted the COVID-19 virus and started feeling symptoms just after Christmas. His dad, Tim Greenway of the Roanoke County School Board, and most of his family have also been battling the virus.

“I’ve been struggling,” said Brad Greenway on Wednesday. “First I had a sore throat, then it got worse, then I spent a whole day coughing, trying to keep my lungs clear. I’ve been really tired and I’m letting my assistants run practice today(Wednesday). They’re very capable.”

The first possible games for Byrd teams will be the end of next week. The teams need to get eight practices in before they can play.

Up until this week Roanoke County had been in a group that originally included Roanoke City, Botetourt County, Alleghany County, Craig County, Salem and Covington schools in adhering to guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health. Botetourt County broke from that group last Tuesday, December 29, and decided to allow sports to return beginning this week. Lord Botetourt and James River High Schools have basketball games, wrestling matches and a swim meet all on the schedule this week.

“We’re excited about this,” said River wrestling coach Bobby Stewart. “Let’s hope we can get them all(matches) in and have a region and a state in February.”

All high school events in Botetourt County will be played under strict guidelines, and expect the same for Roanoke County when events resume. No more than 25 fans are allowed to attend, fans will need a ticket beforehand and everyone will be required to wear a mask. The 25 also includes cheerleaders, and in most cases each player will be allowed to have one parent or family member in attendance.

It was announced that fans who would like to view the events in the Lord Botetourt or James River gymnasiums can do so by live stream on the NFHS Network, but must have a subscription to do so. To subscribe go to nfhsnework.com. The individual has a choice of a monthly subscription for $10.99 or an annual subscription for $69.99. The subscription gives the individual access to watch any event from any school participating.

William Byrd swimmers practice at the Lancerlot. The Terriers hope to be able to compete against other cuonty schools soon after Tuesday’s school board announcement. (photo by Brian Hoffman)

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