Three days after many Fairfax County high school football and field hockey teams resumed their seasons at undisclosed sites across Virginia, Superintendent Daniel A. Domenech said yesterday that he would not allow athletic teams to schedule upcoming games out of the area.
The District of Columbia and Loudoun County, which also held football games at undisclosed sites out of the area last weekend, have not announced plans for this weekend.
According to Mike McGurk, director of student activities at Jefferson, Fairfax County began field hockey play at military installations yesterday. Lake Braddock defeated Hayfield, 4-0, yesterday at an undisclosed site.
Organizers and coaches began to put together a plan on Monday trying to find secure sites to play games and the field hockey regional tournament before the state deadline of Nov. 9.
"It took about four or five hours to put together on Monday," McGurk said about the plan. "It was pretty much let's go with it."
Domenech did say that he would consider holding events at military installations.
"Our athletic directors have been working on this, whether we could hold games in secure military facilities," he said, adding later: "I'm not going to do this bit of sending kids out of the area, no."
He also said that his position could change at any time. "This is a day-to-day thing," he said.
Last Saturday, 11 football games and 10 field hockey games were moved to sites as far as 150 miles away in an effort to avoid the recent sniper attacks in the Washington area. Later that night in Ashland, Va. -- which was not too far from the game sites and travel routes of several teams -- there was another shooting linked to the sniper.
Yesterday, representatives of AAA Northern Region, which is comprised of 28 schools in Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria, met to discuss ways to complete fall sports seasons. Many options were discussed but few concrete decisions were made, Westfield Principal Dale Rumberger said afterward.
"It's premature to say that we are going to be playing games this weekend," said Rumberger, who is also the region chairman. "But it's being discussed. . . . These are extraordinary times."
In addition, the Virginia High School League announced the Group AAA state cross-country meet has been pushed back one week to Nov. 16 and will be held at a site to be announced. The VHSL already had extended the football and field hockey seasons by one week to accommodate schools which have been forced to postpone games.
In Prince George's County, football, cross-country and volleyball teams were allowed to continue to practice indoors yesterday, and five boys' soccer games and five girls' soccer games were played during school hours at undisclosed locations. Volleyball and soccer matches are scheduled to continue on Thursday.
Prince George's County Supervisor of Athletics Earl Hawkins said he expects the County Schools' Office of the Chief Executive to announce on Thursday if this weekend's football games will be played, though Hawkins said the county still has not found a secure venue to hold the games.
Meantime, Prince William County teams returned to practice yesterday for the first time since Oct. 9. Only indoor workouts were allowed, but after being inactive for almost two weeks, any activity was welcome.
"At least we're going to see the team," Hylton Coach Lou Sorrentino said shortly before assembling with his Bulldogs. "I know the kids are looking forward to it and the coaches are looking forward to it. We've been away so long that going back to fundamentals and working on the basic things will be one of our goals."
Prince William football teams were under the assumption that they will be allowed to play games this weekend, but no times or sites have been officially announced. Superintendent Edward L. Kelly said yesterday that if games do take place, they would be played locally, not at distant sites.
Additionally, the Montgomery County girls' tennis tournament was canceled. The tournament was scheduled for yesterday but was canceled Monday night in a meeting between athletic directors and coaches.
Staff writers Tarik El-Bashir, Preston Williams and Jon Gallo, and special correspondent Will Toussaint contributed to this report.