CHAPEL HILL — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced Monday, March 23, it will be extending their suspension of interscholastic athletics until at least Monday, May 18.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced earlier in the day that all schools will be closed until at least Friday, May 15, as the state continues to deal with the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.

“The NCHSAA Board of Directors and staff will use the next few weeks to weigh our future decisions based on the new directions given by Governor Cooper, other government leaders and organizations charged with public health and safety during this unprecedented time,” NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said. “Such decisions will include the possible resumption of spring sports’ competition and the possibility of holding the state basketball championships.”

Tucker added there is hope that sports will resume in May, but said the health and safety of students, coaches and communities need to be taken into account.

In an email announcement to students, coaches and other local residents, Ashe County High School Athletic Director David Koontz relayed the NCHSAA’s message, as well as encouraging students whose seasons now hang in the balance.

“I know this is a very challenging time, but I want to encourage everyone to remain positive and continue to look for the good in all things,” Koontz said. “That being said, I’m challenging you along with myself to seize the opportunity of each day, because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Don’t look at this suspension as a hindrance, but look at it as an opportunity. Take action today to make a positive difference in your life as well as someone you love and care about!”

The NCHSAA originally announced the suspension March 12, planning to resume play Monday, April 6.

Ashe Post & Times will provide updates for this story as they are made available.

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