NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Athletes are taught to play until they hear a whistle.

Faced with insurmountable odds, many senior high-school students have remained optimistic about their chances of getting on the field at least one more time.

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally blew the whistle on Friday afternoon, announcing that schools statewide are closing for the remainder of the year, erasing any hopes for an abbreviated spring sports season.

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North Salem student-athletes and coaches shared their thoughts on the announcement:

Steven Herlihy, senior, baseball

It’s obviously unfortunate because our guys have been working hard throughout their high school years. However, for myself and the other five seniors, it’s a little more disappointing that we can’t finish out our high school sports career—especially, since our team was very talented and had a good chance to hopefully win a sectional title.

But in terms of the world we’re living in right now, cancelling high school spring sports is the least of our concerns in the grand scheme of things. I hope what people will take from this is how we all need to take this very seriously and practice social distancing. So, when late August and early September come around we’re not having to cancel other events that so many people look forward to like going off to college, playing college/high school sports or even just enjoying time with family/friends.

Ellie Molina, senior, girls lacrosse

Obviously, I’m sad at the spring season being canceled, but for the wellbeing of all the young student-athletes it was the right decision. Being a senior, I’ll miss lacrosse because it will probably be the last chance for me to play on a team. Thank you, North Salem athletics. It was a good run for a while.

Kyle Singer, senior, baseball

It’s very sad that us seniors will not be able to take the field one last time. We all put so much into our high school baseball programs and it’s a shame we won’t be able to participate in what was supposed to be the best seasons of our high school careers. I’m lucky enough to be able to play at the next level, but I really feel for all those seniors who aren’t as fortunate. This game is awesome and it’s very sad that those players didn’t get the end their baseball careers on their own terms.

Katie Mogg, senior, track and field

My first thoughts are: disappointed but not surprised. Life is all about adapting to change, so this is something all student-athletes like myself can learn and grow from. Something like this is only a negative turn of events if we decide it is. This is an opportunity to get in some valuable at-home training where students-athletes can focus on upcoming seasons, or they can continue to be active simply for the love of their sport.

Although it’s a sad reality, it’s something that can’t be helped and it the best course of action for the sake of the general public’s health. We will get through this. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Michael Puletz, senior, baseball

I am very upset and disappointed that the spring sports season is canceled. As a senior, I was really looking forward to playing my final season on the varsity baseball team at North Salem High School.   I felt that our team would have been very competitive this year, and we would have had a good shot at the playoffs. We were a very tight-knit group, and we were having a lot of fun during the first few weeks of practice. I feel bad for all the student-athletes who are being affected by this situation, but especially seniors like myself who won't have the chance to wear the North Salem Tigers jersey again.

Juliette Intrieri, senior, track and field

I first heard that the season was canceled through my teammates, and I was really upset. I think this decision is for the best, but it’s still devastating to hear as a senior. I’m going to miss my team a lot, but I’m so grateful that I was able to run with some of my best friends throughout the majority of high school. And although I’m upset about losing my last season of track, I’m fortunate to be able to continue running in college.

Chris Regan, golf coach

I feel bad for our many spring sports seniors. They were looking for the spring to be a great capstone for their athletic careers, and that is no longer possible. We had pretty much figured out that this was going to happen, so it’s not a total shock.  

Chris Gould, track coach

It is not a surprise, especially when Gov. Cuomo pushed the date to May 15 almost a month out. Our student-athletes are deeply invested and this has put an unprecedented pause on everything. Not fair, but that's life right now. My heart hurts for our seniors. They are handling it well, though. We have tried to stay engaged (we had a virtual core exercises meeting this week and challenged other North Salem teams to a Plank Sandwich Challenge = back plank, 2x side plank, front plank for 1 minute each). I need to see the seniors to wish them well on their journeys and I hope that happens. Other than that, I hope that everyone is well and continues to be.

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