Alaska Spring Sports Season Canceled

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 17:55
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By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    With schools around the state shuttered until at least May 1 in order to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Alaska School Activities Association called off the spring sports seasons on Monday.

Sitka Wolves' Chloe Morrison makes an out in a game against Thunder Mountain in 2019. This year's season has been canceled. (Sentinel Photo)


    On its website, ASAA announced the “cancellation of all 2020 spring events, championships, regular season contests and practices. This decision applies to the following: All-State Art, Esports (Spring Season), Solo & Ensemble, Track & Field, Soccer, Baseball and Softball.”
    The state championships for basketball and cheer were canceled last week.
    ASAA was not alone in making tough sports decisions on Monday. The International Olympic Commission simultaneously decided to postpone the Tokyo Olympics to 2021.
    Sitka High softball coach Jael McCarty told the Sentinel that “The girls are pretty heartbroken… (but) we want to do our part to keep the people in our community safe. It’s unfortunate for how it turns out for our girls, but I don’t fault anyone.”
    McCarty acknowledged that the situation is unusual.
    “These are strange times, and you’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do.”
    She encouraged her players to continue studying and keep up their grades despite school closures.
    “We’re just encouraging them to take care of what they need, to take care of regarding distance learning, and just taking care of one another,” McCarty said.
    Sitka Wolves track and field coach Jeremy Strong said he’s sorry  his seniors are losing their last chance to shatter records.
    “I feel pretty disappointed, this was a really strong year for the program. We’ve got a couple seniors going out who won’t get a chance to compete,” Strong said.
    Powerhouse athletes, including Max Johnson, Asa Demmert, and Dominic Baciocco, were set to constitute the backbone of a capable track team.
    “We’ll probably never get a group of runners together like this again,” Strong said. But he added that ASAA’s choice to shut down the season was reasonable.
    “It’s probably the right decision,” he said.
    Other coaches could not be reached for comment.
    In less than a month, Alaskan sports have gone from basketball season as usual to a total shutdown. The situation continues to develop.
    “Of course as coaches, I think we’re disappointed we don’t get to see the kids compete,” Strong concluded. “We hope that everybody is in good spirits and still finds ways to remain active to keep their spirits up. And we’ll get through it.”
    Until then, Strong looks forward to the next cross country season in August.