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UPDATED: School sports will pause due to COVID-19


     High school athletics will take a pause after this week due to concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19.

     Middle school athletics will be impacted in the same way, at least in the Columbus County Schools, school system spokesman Kelly Jones said Thursday afternoon.

     All interscholastic athletics has been suspended effective at 11:59 p.m. Friday, through Monday, April 6, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) announced.

     “This includes all workouts, skill development, practices, and contests,” the announcement said.

     NCHSAA directors “will assess this situation regularly over the next few weeks,” the statement said.

     Men’s and women’s high school basketball state championships, scheduled for this weekend in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, have also been suspended, indefinitely, the NCHSAA announced.

     “As much as we would like this opportunity for our student-athletes, coaches, and their communities, we know that ultimately any decision we make must err on the side of caution,” said Commissioner Que Tucker.

     While there are no Columbus County teams playing for a state basketball title this year, some from the area were expected to travel to Chapel Hill for the 4A men’s championship game between Lumberton and North Mecklenburg Saturday. Former South Columbus coach Bryant Edwards is head coach for the Lumberton Pirates basketball team.

     Look for more on this story as events warrant here and in the Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.