LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - The 2020 spring high school sports season came to an end on Friday before it even had a chance to begin after Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that schools wouldn’t be back in session until at least the fall of 2020.
The Double Play Community Center in Lowville is one of many businesses in the Lowville area that is feeling the effects of having to shut their doors due to the coronavirus. A non-profit organization that, like many others in the area, is a vital part of the community that hopes it can weather the storm and come back strong to serve the people that rely on its services daily.
On Monday, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced that state playoffs for spring high school sports would be cancelled due to COVID-19, and on Friday, any faint hopes for having some kind of spring sports season were laid to rest with schools being closed for the rest of the academic year.
It wasn’t the news players or coaches wanted to hear, but expected given the current situation:
“Well, you know, it’s a- We had a group of seniors that I was really looking forward to working with, and a group of kids that this has been taken away from them. And you know, it’s uncertain times that we’re in right now and unfortunately we are where we are. And you know, I was really looking forward to working with this group of kids, I was really looking forward to having these kids be successful and have a chance to get together and work as a team again. And you know, to not have that is something that- It’s gonna sting for a while,” said Carthage Boys’ Lacrosse Coach Jason Coffman.
“Yeah, you know this is a- It’s hard. I can only express my feelings, but I guess so many people are in the same boat, so it’s a difficult thing as a coach of 20 years. But I can’t even imagine what these kids are feeling just having this. You know, their season taken away and not having an opportunity to compete, you know, just have that camaraderie you know with their teammates,” said Lowville Baseball Coach Dan Myers.
Now area high schools, sections and the NYSPHSAA are beginning to formulate plans for what a fall high school sports season will look like, and NYSPHSAA Executive Director, Doctor Robert Zayas, says the fall sports season will look different in some way.
“Yeah, I think when you look at the fall season being different, I think we all have to be aware of what the last 2 months have brought to us as a state and as high school athletics. And I think we have to be prepared for the fall season to look somewhat different. How different is yet to be determined, knowing that we can go ahead and provide our student athletes with the opportunity to participate in a manner that’s going to be beneficial to them,” said Zayas.
Zayas is putting an AD-HOC committee together to begin the process of planning out what not only the fall sports season will look like but the entire 2020-21 high school sports season, with members from all areas, including the medical community.
“I think it’s extremely important that we have medical experts on our AD_HOC committee from physicians to athletic trainers. We’re also interested in having superintendents, principals, athletic directors- Hoping to keep the committee somewhat small, no more than about 20 to 25 members so that we really have the opportunity to get detailed into the topic areas and we can go ahead and make sure that we’re getting great feedback and incredible input statewide,” said Zayas.
With a little over 3 months until the start of the fall high school sports season, the committee will have it’s work cut out to formulate a plan that ensures athletes, coaches, officials and fans a safe environment when the season kicks off.
On Wednesday, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced that the 2020 induction ceremony scheduled for July in Cooperstown, NY was being cancelled due to COVID-19. With the 2020 inductees, which included Yankee captain Derek Jeter, being inducted next year with the class of 2021.
7 News sportscaster Rob Krone had a chance to sit down with National Baseball Hall of Fame President Tim Mead on Thursday and talk about a number of things, including what went into the decision to cancel this year’s induction ceremony.
“You know, we were in full preparation, full mode preparation and implementation of the process. But as March started to progress, and you could see the things that were building up around the world, obviously around the country a little bit, you know, you start in the back of your mind thinking we better follow this close. At the same time, [...] we continued to do what we needed to do to be ready for July. Couple weeks ago, we had a board of directors call just to throw it out there that we may have to reach a decision and lets revisit in a couple weeks, we had that call yesterday and it was a unanimous decision,” said Mead.