PRSC moving forward with plans for a fall season

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 7, 2020

The Pearl River Soccer Club is tentatively progressing with the intention of having a fall season, but there are a lot of extenuating factors that will determine the season’s feasibility.

Registration for the club is currently ongoing both online and in person.

For community members who would like to register in person there will be a table set up at Friendship Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 8 and Aug. 15.

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PRSC President Dave Ortmann said that following the end of registration there would be a meeting with coaches on Aug. 19 to try and form evenly matched teams.

Practices are currently scheduled to begin the week of Aug. 24 after teams are formed so the athletes have time to get to know each other before entering a competitive environment.

A big portion of the organization’s ability to host a fall season will be if it’s able to organize games with the Northshore League in Louisiana.

However, current COVID-19 guidelines make interstate travel difficult, so if that time comes and it’s still prohibited Ortmann said the club will be in a tough spot.

“Everybody is setting up to play, but if everything starts shutting down again we won’t be able to,” Ortmann said.

If the Northshore League can’t be used then there is a possibility of teams within the club playing each other, or taking part in tournaments in northern Mississippi.

However, even options within the state aren’t necessarily foolproof as the situation regarding COVID-19 remains fluid and changes on a daily basis.

To try and get more information about restrictions for the upcoming season, Ortmann said there was a meeting with the Mississippi Soccer Association to determine what COVID-19 guidelines would apply to fall play.

Coaches must wear masks, parents must stay in their cars during practices and games unless wearing a mask, athletes will have to wear masks when not taking part in a game and social distancing are just a few of the guidelines provided to the PRSC by the MSA.

There’s a possibility those guidelines could change over time, and there’s no telling if the league will even be allowed to have a fall season depending on state and local restrictions.

Due to all of the uncertainty, Ortmann said the organization’s Aug. 19 meeting will cover what will happen regarding refunds if the season ends up not occurring this fall.

“We’re meeting and it’s all about refunds, what ifs and how we’re going to handle it,” Ortmann said.

Usually approximately 200 athletes sign up to play, but Ortmann isn’t expecting to see those numbers due to the ongoing pandemic.

Still, he’s hoping a season can take place because of the benefits it provides to local athletes.

“We can get them out of the house and give them some exercise. It’ll give them something to look forward to because I would imagine a lot of athletes are going stir crazy right now,” Ortmann said.