What Will the Fate of High School Spring Sports be in South Jersey?

What Will the Fate of High School Spring Sports be in South Jersey?

The coronavirus ended the winter sports season before teams got to play for state boys’ and girls’ basketball championships.

Will the spring sports in South Jersey and statewide even get the chance to compete?

That is a question that nobody knows the answer to.

Those involved in spring sports – baseball, softball, boys’ tennis, girls’ and boys’ track, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, boys’ and girls’ golf and boys’ volleyball - are waiting to hear whether they will be able to suit up.

We get the fact that there are more important things in life than whether high school student athletes get to compete, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be important to those involved.

As stated in a previous article, a person can be both disappointed that they aren’t playing while agreeing with the decision.

That sums up how the youngsters feel who are spring sports athletes.

The spring is always a challenging time because there are so many distractions for the athletes including much better weather, proms, times going down the shore, etc.

A spring sports athlete really has to be dedicated to keep focused.

Now the teams are not practicing and rightly so.

Most schools are off until at least the end of the month. With the outbreak of the coronavirus, nobody knows how long schools will be closed, let alone if youngsters will be able to compete in spring sports.

On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a recommendation that for the next eight weeks, organizers, whether groups or individuals, cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 or more people throughout the United States.

Eight weeks from that recommendation is May 9, so that would seem like the earliest that spring sports could begin action.

The day after the CDC came out with its recommendation, the NJSIAA supplied this statement.

“There will be no interscholastic athletic competition until schools reopen. When they do, the NJSIAA will make every effort to take advantage of whatever part of the spring sports season remains, including holding championships. The NJSIAA remains committed to providing student-athletes as many opportunities as possible.”

No doubt the spring sports athletes are holding out hope that they can compete, that there can be a state tournament.

Maybe the seasons will have to extend longer than they were originally supposed to. One thing is for sure, after talking to various athletic directors, they will do their best to see that the student athletes get to compete this spring.

Of course as we have seen with this devasting virus, things are often out of our hands. We have to listen to the expert health officials.

Yet the youngsters can dream, and right now that will likely keep them upbeat during these truly difficult times.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo courtesy of Marc Narducci

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