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Long Island's Catholic League will try to play high school sports this fall

Praise Okodogbe of St. John the Baptist swims

Praise Okodogbe of St. John the Baptist swims the 100 Yard Butterfly during the CHSAA girls swimming championship in East Meadow on November 10, 2019. Credit: Dawn McCormick

The nine Long Island high schools in the Catholic League will try to play this fall.

St. John the Baptist athletic director Ralph Dalton said the presidents of the state Catholic League met on Friday and decided to allow each section to make its own decision.

Dalton, who also serves as the president of the boys Rockville Centre Diocese, said the league will play the sports deemed lower-risk by New York State — girls tennis, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross country and girls swimming.

"We're aware of what's going on all around us with Section VIII and Section XI," Dalton said, "and we feel we have a really good plan moving forward to keep our student athletes safe and healthy. 

"Our director's council worked hard all summer to put together a solid plan. We will play a modified schedule to get our student-athletes back out on the fields competing. We'll start practice on Sept. 21 and follow the governor's guidelines. The first week of competition in all sports will begin Friday, Oct. 9."

The Nassau-Suffolk Catholic schools include St. Dominic in Oyster Bay, St. John the Baptist in West Islip, St. Anthony's in South Huntington, Chaminade in Mineola, Kellenberg in Uniondale, Holy Trinity in Hicksville, St. Mary's in Manhasset, Our Lady of Mercy in Syosset and Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead.

"This is absolutely great for our kids and for our league," St. Anthony's boys soccer coach Don Corrao said. "I like that we’re taking a leadership role and getting back on the field. We’re giving the kids an outlet that they truly need. I have confidence in our administration that they are putting the right protocols in place to keep our players safe."

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