Section VI moves forward with wrestling but without the Erie County schools

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 21 April 2021 at 5:21 pm

The Section VI Executive Committee today reaffirmed its decision “to support wrestling activities beginning on the previously approved date of May 3 in the Counties of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Niagara and Orleans.”

In a press release, the Executive Committee noted that on April 5, “the Erie County Department of Health confirmed that they have not changed from their original recommendation on January 26 to postpone or cancel wrestling activities. Therefore Section VI member schools located in Erie County will not be able to participate in wrestling activities at this time.”

That decision means that one Niagara-Orleans League school, Akron, which is located in Erie County, will not be able to take part in the upcoming season.  It leaves the N-O with only five wrestling teams – Albion, Medina, Roy-Hart/Barker, Newfane and Wilson.

“The expectations are clear from our school leaders. Our school districts cannot take on the liability associated with splitting off from the ECDOH’s recommendations,” said Section VI President, Brett Banker. “As we have done since the start of this public health crisis, we will continue to rely upon the expertise, knowledge and recommendations from local and state authorities when making decisions impacting the safety of our student-athlete.”

“The Section will continue to communicate and work with the ECDOH. It is through collaboration that, to date, the Section has only cancelled one sport this school year, indoor Track and Field, ” Banker said. “Section VI has proven that we are committed to providing opportunities for our athletes within the guidelines set forth to us by the local Health Departments. We will support the Erie County schools to begin wrestling immediately, if the recommendation from Erie County changes. We look forward to engaging in that dialogue.”