North country sports world feels the effects of COVID-19

North country sports world feels the effects of COVID-19

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Almost every aspect of the sports world has been directly affected by the latest restrictions due to the coronavirus.

Included in that is the Watertown Area Boxing Club, which had to cancel their Battle of the Badges 2 matches scheduled for later this month.

Boxing club president and head coach, John Pepe, says they will be taking a night to disinfect everything at their practice facility for the safety of the members.

While competition has been put on hold, Pepe says training is continuing with limited people in attendance unless USA Boxing says otherwise.

Pepe adds continuing practice also creates another challenge for him.

“With me, it’s a challenge because I train a lot of Fort Drum fighters and I know a lot of them just came back from abroad. So I gotta kinda weigh out what I’m gonna do as far as practice. So, right now I’m just- I’m trying to keep it kind of a low key practice right now," said Pepe.

While the week was topsy turvy for many north country sports teams and programs, it was especially a roller coaster for the Clarkson Golden Knights Mens Hockey Team.

The Golden Knights began the week preparing to host Colgate in the ECAC Quarterfinals at Cheel Arena. Then they found out after 2 teams dropped out of post season play due to coronavirus concerns that they would receive a bye to the semifinals in Lake Placid after the ECAC reseeded the tournament.

Ultimately, the team found out the ECAC and NCAA tournaments were cancelled.

Lost in the shuffle was the end of the careers of 6 Golden Knight seniors, who were one of the most successful groups in recent memory and left their mark on the Clarkson program.

“You know, this senior class is, you know, they’re 90 plus wins with a group and we celebrated them here at senior night. They’ve had a phenominal run, they were going. They were looking at 3 in a row here in the tournament, you know a chance to repeat. They were back to back ECAC championship games, so they’ve been but they’re better people, right? That’s the thing that really hurts, is the amount they put into the program on and off the ice. You know, we have our captain, Devin Brousseau is up for the hockey humanitarian award, he’s the student-athlete of the year in our league,” said Clarkson coach Casey Jones.

While a number of seniors participating in winter sports didn’t get to finish their seasons, some that were playing spring sports on the high school and college level didn’t even get to play a game. With COVID-19 hitting so early in the season, some teams had just started playing games or were getting ready to play their first games.

On the junior college level, for those athletes that didn’t get a chance to play their final year at a 2 year school there is a silver lining.

“Yeah, on the bright side, you know, if a student athlete is going on to play at the next level next year, then they would have 3 years of eligibility remaining at their 4 year school so that’s a good thing. And if a kid can make it through with 4 years and then they can play their 4th year with working on their graduate degree or their masters degree. So that’s a positive for our spring athletes but I think they’re still pretty bummed that they can’t play this semester,” said J.C.C. Athletic Director Jeff Wiley.

The New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority says all of the ski areas and venues that it manages will suspend operation at the close of business Sunday.

Closures include all Nordic and Alpine ski resorts including Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, Belleayre Mountain Ski Resort in the Catskills, Gore Mountain in North Creek and Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, near Lake Placid.

All Lake Placid Olympic sites will also be closing, including the Olympic Jumping Complex, Olympic Sports Complex, The Olympic Oval and the Olympic Center including its museum and retail shops.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.