For weeks, high school athletes in Butler County have been settling into a new normal.
Temperature checks. Masks. Social distancing. Disinfecting everything.
All to make sure fall sports seasons happen.
The predominant feeling was things were right on track.
Until Gov. Tom Wolf threw a false start flag at the end of his press conference Thursday morning, recommending fall sports be paused until at least Jan. 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
That statement sent the PIAA, the state's athletic governing body, into a frenzy and jolted school administrators, coaches and athletes into a state of confusion.
“Just like everyone else, (I'm) shocked this would happen so close to the start of fall sports season,” said Mars Area High School athletic director and head football coach Scott Heinauer.
“All high schools came up with plans,” he added. “We followed ours exactly and all of our athletes were excited to get their seasons started ... and now this happened, just when everyone thought it seemed to be getting back to somewhat a normal state.”
Read more in Friday's Butler Eagle.