Wildcats' defense steps up to beat Lewisburg

Lewisburg's Ethan Spaulding tries to avoid being tackled by Mifflinburg's Gary Degroat Jr. during a game last October.

Mifflinburg and Lewisburg — like all Valley high school athletes — have to deal with the delay in fall sports as the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and Governor Tom Wolf's office have yet to decide what to do for the upcoming season, leaving high school athletes in limbo.

"We are going to keep working hard, and whatever happens, be it one game or 10 games, we're going to take what we can get," Selinsgrove's Coy Bastian said last week when the PIAA decision came down.

The players could still work out, but competition taking place still hangs in the balance.

Now even the chance to work out with their teammates has been taken from the athletes at Mifflinburg and Lewisburg thanks to the coronavirus. An outbreak at the Lewisburg Penitentiary caused the schools to put a pause on workouts — at least for this week — and the Mifflinburg School District moved its start date for school from Aug. 20 to Sept. 8.

The Lewisburg School Board meets this evening, and will discuss if they will move the start date of their district, also scheduled for Aug. 20.

Green Dragons boys soccer coach Ben Kettlewell says losing a week of working out isn't ideal, but in his mind it could be worse.

"Playing sports is still a possibility," Kettlewell said. "We are getting one week behind, but we still have the possibility of playing. I've had the largest attendance since I've been a coach, we had more than 30 players at our last workout."

However, now the Green Dragons and the Wildcats have to deal with one more unknown, on top of many others during this pandemic.

"It's kind of become the norm these days not to release much information," Kettlewell said. "We're supposed to go back to school in a week, and I'm not sure what's going on as a soccer coach or as a teacher."

Mifflinburg Athletics released a statement on Twitter, which in part said: "The news ... was disheartening, but please know that Lewisburg and Mifflinburg have simply done the safe thing."

Kettlewell hopes to play this season, but he said he'd be willing to play in the spring — if that meant his team got to finish this season.

"My biggest fear is we'll start, and then they'll call it all off after a few weeks," Kettlewell said. "I think that would really hurt the kids. I really think we need to find a way to play, and find a way to finish the season.

"If that's in the spring, I'm good with that."

Kettlewell also said he realizes that during this pandemic things can change very quickly.

"I know its out of my hands. It's bigger than soccer, and it's a decision bigger than the school district at the moment," Kettlewell said.

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