Athletes React to Cancellation of Spring Sports Season

May 21, 2020

As a result of the school closure announced by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on April 21st, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has decided to cancel the 2020 high school spring sports season and any postseason tournaments. While the MIAA Board of Directors worked to create a revised structure over the course of several weeks to allow athletes to play the remainder of their sports season, the closure of schools ended any hope of a season.

 In their official statement, the MIAA said, “Despite this disheartening but unavoidable action, it is paramount to applaud our constituents, principals, athletic directors, coaches and student-athletes for their positive power of example and cooperation during this unprecedented crisis.”

Many high schoolers are reeling from the shocking end to their sports season before it began, especially the seniors. Senior track and field captain Brendon Goss said, “Understandably I was frustrated and discouraged with it being my senior year, but as I thought on it longer I began to realize what a good and well structured team we would be leaving behind.”

 The news of a canceled season was particularly devastating to those who considered their spring sport to be their main one. Junior softball player Jordyn Codding said, “I know myself along with a lot of teammates consider softball their number one sport so it is pretty sad to not have a season.” 

Others looked on the brightside. Junior tennis captain Hannah Gilooly said, “The full season would’ve been ideal but as the season kept being shortened I found myself happier it wasn’t going to happen because there would be too many matches a week.”

 

For a lot of athletes, the cancellation of spring sports has illuminated the gravity of the situation. Sophomore tennis player Piper Schulman said, “I think it just shows that this is really serious and not something we should be taking lightly or brushing off.” Sophomore baseball player Derek Paris said, “It has made me cautious. It’s a scary thing.” For sports that don’t involve a lot of contact already, it has made the danger of the virus especially apparent. Sophomore baseball player Jack Cangelosi said, “If you can’t play a sport with natural social distancing then obviously it’s something that can’t be taken lightly.” 

Now, non-senior athlete’s have shifted their focus towards preparing for the next season. Eighth grade track and field participant Ollie Swabey said, “I have been running at the Clark a lot with my dogs and I have been doing lots of biking and roller skiing for cross training.” Junior track and field sprinter Elizabeth Dupras said, “Throughout the week, I go on a run almost every day and do a core workout just to keep myself in shape for the summer.” Many have simply extended their offseason training and will continue to play a club version of their sports when COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. Paris said, “I have been working out every day, and I also try to take batting practice and do other baseball training every day.”

Seniors, on the other hand, will miss the opportunity to have one last season with their teammates. Senior track and field captain Maddy Ross said, “I was looking forward to enjoying one last season with this team and I was excited to see what we could’ve accomplished. Senior lacrosse captain Cole Filson said, “I worked extremely hard for the last 3 years to become the player I am now and it really hurts to know that I won’t be able to play the sport that I love.”

Despite the end to their high school athletic careers, many seniors shared fond memories of their times on and off the field with their teammates, emphasizing that the camaraderie was one aspect they would miss the most. Ross said, “I loved becoming close with everyone on all of my teams and I’ll never forget the times we spent together outside of the sport.” 

Senior track and field captain Brandi Gill remembered the fun times she has had cheering with her teammates during track and field meets. Gill said, “There is this insane energy when we are all rooting so hard for our teammates.”

Many seniors shared advice for their teammates, both for dealing with the cancellation and for the seasons to come. Goss said, “Kids should keep their heads up in these trying times and their time will come.” Senior softball captain Taylor Cornell advised the underclassmen to “keep working in the off season.” Gill said, “Treasure the moments that you have with this team. No matter where you go in life, you will never find another like it.” Many of the seniors wished that they could just play one more game. Filson said, “Understand that each game and practice is special and that even a loss is better than not playing at all.”

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