HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y. - The fate of spring sports seasons are being left in the hands of sections and individual school districts, said Dr. Robert Zayas, executive director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
The status of spring state championships, however, will be decided by NYSPHSAA no later than Monday, April 27.
“The date students are able to return to school will play a significant role in the length of the spring sports season and the potential of league, section and state championships,” Zayas wrote in a March 23 memo to section directors. “With school districts closed for an extended period of time, sections and schools are individually determining the spring sports start dates and practice parameters that best meet the needs of the students they represent.”
If needed, Zayas wrote, the spring sports season can be extended. The NYSPHSAA has also waived rule that prohibited student-athletes from practicing and competing for seven consecutive days during the regular season.
“When schools are able to return, students will need a sense of normalcy and providing them with any semblance of regular season will be beneficial to them and their school community,” Zayas wrote. “Senior nights, practice, team dinners and wearing a school uniform should be the focus of interscholastic athletic programs following the COVID-19 crisis.”
The Section 1 Executive Committee has said it will reassess the status of the spring sports season on Monday, March 30.
We asked players and coaches from Lakeland, John Jay, Mahopac, North Salem, Somers and Yorktown about their confidence in playing a game this spring season.
Juliette Intrieri (North Salem Track)
I’m not sure if we’ll have a meet but I really hope so. It’s difficult to stay motivated without having a meet to look forward to. However, my teammates have been working hard and staying dedicated to running which helps me stay motivated.
Kyle Singer (North Salem Baseball)
I really hope we play again. As a senior, I would be very sad to see my high school career end like this, so I’m keeping my hopes up.
Katie Mogg (North Salem Track)
I do not think I will run a varsity race this season thinking realistically, but I’m hoping to God that I’m wrong!
Jenna Shaughnessy (North Salem Girls Lacrosse)
Personally, I am hoping and praying that we get to have our season. Lacrosse means so much to me and I would hate to not be able to contribute to the lacrosse program at North Salem once again.
Chris Regan (North Salem Golf Coach)
I think the season, or part of the season, could be salvaged if we return to school. NYSPHSAA does not require varsity golfers to have a certain number of practices before playing a game, so we could, in theory, play a match on the day we return to school.
Rob Gilchrist (North Salem Baseball Coach)
I am extremely positive and hopeful we can salvage some part of the baseball season. I have an awesome group of talented kids who put forth many hours of hard work during the winter months. We also had a great first official week of team practice during the week of March 9-13.
Geoff Curtis (John Jay Baseball Coach)
That's the million-dollar question. Not particularly confident in even one game. The kids are calling it #undefeatedseason2020 (sad!). I feel terrible for seniors.
Thomas Parisi (Somers Baseball)
I am praying that we will be able to pray a varsity game this season. It would mean the world to get back on the field with my boys and to have our senior night ceremonies.
Anthony Nappi (Somers Baseball Coach)
I told our team at our last workout that we have to have positive thoughts and worry about what we can control. So, I’m going to be optimistic and say yes, we’re going to play a game this spring.
Leigh Fiorito (Somers Golf Coach)
After learning of the finality of Kansas decision regarding the school year, not very. It all makes me so very sad, most especially for seniors. The more I read of this virus, the more I am sad that such hysteria has taken place.
Debbie Daly (Somers Girls Lacrosse)
I am very hopeful that we will get to play this season. I think we will have a late start, but I am hopeful that although the season may not be a regular season there will be schools that would like to compete and play a handful of games. These athletes deserve to keep the faith and be hopeful because they continue to work and want to, as I am sure many other teams do as well.
Jesse Arnett (Somers Track Coach)
I’m taking every day as if we start competition tomorrow. Track and field athletes know what they should be doing each day so that when we start up they will be ready. It’s tough to see every other sport close down and expect ours to remain open but I always root for the underdog and in this case, I’m rooting for high school track and field.
C.J. Riefenhauser (Yorktown Baseball Coach)
Our Athletic Director Rob Barrett has stayed in steady communication with us and has been in touch with Section 1 and other athletic directors and I feel hopeful. I know if it’s safe for the kids and the community they will come up with a way.
Tim O'Callaghan (Yorktown Boys Lacrosse)
I have faith that the Section/State will find an effective way to postpone the season to a point where we can play a shortened season and playoffs. It is wishful thinking largely because I know how much each of my teammates and I are itching to step out on the field together this spring.
Joe Vetrano (Lakeland Baseball)
Honestly, I am not very confident that I will be playing any games my senior year, which is very upsetting. I was looking forward to a great year with my teammates and coaches.
Kelsey McDonnell (Yorktown Girls Lacrosse)
It’s hard to predict what the future holds and whether or not we will be able to play a varsity game this spring, but I stay hopeful and positive. A senior season is what I’ve been looking forward to since the beginning of high-school, and that’s all I’m going to continue to do until I know anything further.
Zach Esteves (Mahopac Boys Lacrosse)
I am very confident that we will have a season this year. Everybody in charge is doing a great job trying to keep us safe while giving us the opportunity to get a season in.
Shannon Becker (Mahopac Softball)
I am trying to stay positive and hope for the best regarding our season. So, I am extremely hopeful that we’ll still be able to play at least a modified season of some sort, and all I can do is hope for the best.
Kelley Posch (Mahopac Track Coach)
I'm a big believer that everything happens for a reason. I am confident that there is a purpose to this experience, but I refuse to believe that we are giving in on this hope when it's only mid-March. In addition, especially in our sport and our section we have so many coaches and teams that are passionate to the core and I believe that once we go into recovery mode and are cleared to resume, opportunities will present themselves. Even if they are in the form of unattached summer meets.
Myckie Lugbauer (Mahopac Baseball)
I am trying to remain optimistic that we will be able to have some sort of season this year. I know that things have gotten a bit more serious in the last few days, but I continue to remain positive that we will be able to play at some point this spring.
Matt McMahon (Mahopac Track)
Although I am optimistic about getting an opportunity to compete this season, this is a bigger issue than sports. Our attention should be directed on keeping everyone we possibly can healthy and safe and helping those in need. Once we have stabilized the health and safety of everyone, we can go back to enjoying just one of the aspects of life we love so dearly, sports.
Cristina Giansante (Mahopac Softball Coach)
Confident and hopeful are two different things. Nothing is for certain; that I learned in the last few weeks. Days? Hours? I just do what is told to me by the higher powers. I trust that they will do what is in the best interest for everyone. I am extremely hopeful we will play this season. I am hopeful the section can work something out for these seniors. I am hopeful by May we are back on the field. I am even willing to go into the summer. We'd do just about anything to get this season in.
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