Canceling of High School Spring Sports was Inevitable, but Difficult for Senior Student Athletes

by Marc Narducci; Photo courtesy of Marc Narducci | May 11, 2020
Canceling of High School Spring Sports was Inevitable, but Difficult for Senior Student Athletes
What everybody suspected for the longest time became official last week when New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy closed schools in the state for the rest of the school year.
That also closed the door on high school spring sports.
The New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) had waited as long as possible before officially having the plug pulled from spring sports.
The NJSIAA was determined to give the spring sports athletes every last chance to compete. Once the schools were closed for the school year, that dream died as well.
Here was the NJSIAA’s announcement:
“Following today’s (May 4) announcement by Governor Murphy, the NJSIAA has officially canceled New Jersey’s 2020 high school spring sports season.  This decision was not made lightly and we are disappointed for the thousands of New Jersey student-athletes who will be unable to compete this spring. While we remained hopeful to the end, and left open every possibility, competition simply is not feasible given the circumstances.
“The last few weeks have been heartbreaking on many levels, from the tragic loss of life, to thousands battling the virus, to millions who have suffered emotional and economic loss.  It’s been a harrowing time for everyone, and we know our student-athletes are extremely disappointed. That said, these unfortunate circumstances may have put an intriguing challenge in the path of our young people. As New Jersey’s own Vince Lombardi once said, “It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up. “We’re confident all our kids will get back up and stand tall.
“The NJSIAA will continue developing plans for the potential restarting of scholastic sports during the fall season. Additional information related both to the summer recess and fall will be shared at a later date.”
The senior class not only in New Jersey but around the country got the short end of things. Again, let’s keep this in context.
The real tragedy is all the people who have died from COVID-19.
Few people haven’t been touched by this illness and have seen the devastation.
While comparing to the big picture, not having a high school sports season may seem so minor, but it is still a big deal to those involved.
Never will it compare with many of the tragedies that COVID-19 has caused, but it also doesn’t mean that youngsters haven’t been negatively impacted by their inability to compete in athletics.
There are some who had potential scholarships at stake that were either hurt or ruined by the cancelled season.
More than that, some youngsters have worked their entire life to compete and represent their high school on the athletic field. What about that athlete who had a chance to finally be a starter in baseball, softball, or lacrosse as a senior?
That could be tough to take, again always taken into context.
Yes, we get that others have had much bigger issues with COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean the young student-athletes haven’t been impacted negatively, it is just to a much different degree.
One can only hope that it will be safe for high school sports to eventually resume as everybody attempts to return to some semblance of normalcy in what we hope is the not too distant future.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo courtesy of Marc Narducci


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