New York cancels 2020 spring sports

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Just one day after the Vermont Principals Association decided to cancel the 2020 spring sports season because of the coronavirus outbreak, New York is following suit.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement Friday morning announcing the closures of all New York schools for the remainder of the current academic year.

"Given the current situation, K-12 schools and college facilities will remain closed for the rest of the academic year and will continue to provide distance learning. This is the best course of action to keep students, educators and staff safe," the governor tweeted.

The decision to cancel all high school 2020 spring athletics throughout the state came shortly after Governor Cuomo's tweet, from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) via a press release.

"In accordance with Governor Cuomo's announcement today the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's 11 member Sections have cancelled all remaining spring sports," it read.

Senior athletes will not have a chance to play their spring time sport for their high school team one last time. Underclassmen will lose a season of their high school athletic careers.

"I had four seniors that were committed and dedicated to the program, I feel bad for them. Just tough news," said Cambridge baseball coach Jason Waite

Waite said he sent out a text to the seniors on his team once he heard the season had been canceled, thanking them for their hard-work, dedication and commitment to the program. His message to the underclassmen was to stay prepared for next season.

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The spring sports season in New York started on March 9. Teams began their preseason practices not knowing by the end of the week they wouldn't be allowed to practice, or play together, again.

Cambridge baseball had four practices before their season was canceled. They were scheduled to have practice on March 13, but all after-school activities were canceled that day. Just like that, there season was over without them even knowing.

"When you break down that practice that night that you don't think that could be your last time seeing these guys, you're just pumped for the season. Then this happens," said Waite.

The NYSPHSAA canceled all spring state championships at the beginning of the week, holding out hope for the potential of a modified regular season for high school athletes across the state. That hope was diminished on Friday.

The cancellation of the spring sports season creates a lot of missed opportunities for coaches and athletes.

"This is a team I was looking forward to coaching," said Hoosick Falls baseball coach Mike Lilac.

"I was hoping that they would have a regular season, just play everybody once. Just hoping the boys could put a uniform on," said Waite.

The NYSPHSAA announced it will be creating an ad hoc committee "to address and analyze the potential impact of COVID-19 on the fall 2020 interscholastic athletic season," according to the press release.

"The ad hoc committee will include school and district superintendents, principals, athletic directors, Section Executive Directors and NYSPHSAA's Executive Director as well as potential representation from the NYS Education Department, NYS School Boards Association and the NYS Department of Health."


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