BERNARDSVILLE, NJ — With just two weeks until the scheduled start of the revamped fall sports regular season, Bernards High School teams still are not back out on the field.
The Somerset Hills Regional School District in Bernardsville delayed the opening of in-person learning at Bernards High School in Bernardsville due to an unspecified number of COVID-19 cases.
At the time, school sports programs in New Jersey were in an NJSIAA-imposed "blackout" period that went from Aug. 28 until Sept. 14. But when Sept. 14 arrived earlier this week, the Mountaineers' fall sports teams were still prohibited from physically practicing together.
"We still await clearance and continue to hold team film sessions via video conference," said Jon Simoneau, the head football coach at Bernards. Simoneau's team is supposed to open its regular season on Oct. 3 against Hillside on the road.
As a result of the positive COVID-19 tests, all athletic and co-curricular events have been on hold.
While the NJSIAA cut every state team's regular-season schedule down from the usual nine games to six, Bernards only has five football games on its current schedule. One of the teams the Mountaineers were scheduled to play, Carteret in Middlesex County, was the first team in the state to announce that it would be canceling its entire fall sports program, leaving Bernards without an opponent that week in late October.
The Bernards boys' and girls' soccer teams, field hockey team and girls' tennis team, as well as runners on the cross-country teams, all are impacted by the suspension of pre-season fall sports activities at the school.