NEW JERSEY - On the heels of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's Monday announcement that Garden State schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association officially canceled the spring sports season.

 “Following today’s announcement by Governor Murphy, the NJSIAA has officially canceled New Jersey’s 2020 high school spring sports season," the NJSIAA said in a press release. "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," the statement continued. "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."

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“The NJSIAA will continue developing plans for the potential restarting of scholastic sports during the fall season," the statement concluded. "Additional information related both to the summer recess and fall will be shared at a later date.”

The NJSIAA began in 1918 with 21 member schools. The organization now encompasses more than 400 public, private and parochial schools and is the governing body of state interscholastic athletics. It last released a statement on the possible fate of the high school spring season on April 10. Like school districts across the state, the NJSIAA was awaiting a final decision by the governor on whether Garden State students would be allowed to return to school before the end of the academic year.