Varsity sports would survive during a strike

Game sites, some coaches could be switched; arts events would be canceled

High school sports will continue as scheduled if teachers strike on Feb. 6, but middle school sports and extracurricular activities will be sidelined, Medford schools Superintendent Phil Long announced Friday.

"It is going to take our community's support to pull this off, but amidst all the tension, being able to have sports is a bright point," Long said.

Initially, Long had said all extracurricular activities, including athletics, would be canceled during a strike. But following that announcement, numerous parents and community members and even a student body president called district officials, imploring the administration to reconsider and offering their services if needed, Long said.

With support from parents, district staff managed to rearrange transportation, juggle event schedules and find certified coaches — some of them parents — to cover for unionized coaches who may be on strike, district officials said.

All high school sports — basketball, wrestling and swimming — will proceed as scheduled but may be held at different locations, Long said. Changes will be posted on the school website.

"Athletics are a vital part of our community, and we're glad to be able to find a way to keep the high school program going in spite of the possibility of a strike," Long said in a news release. "We hope our community will come support our high school student athletes. We're committed to doing everything we can to keep the majority of our programs going while we try to negotiate an agreement."

Middle school sports and all other extracurricular activities, including music and theater events, will be canceled, Long said.

Reach education reporter Teresa Thomas at 541-776-4479 or by email at

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