• 37°

High schools: Resuming spring sports is now a long-shot

By Mike London
mike.london@salisburypost.com

It’s looking more likely every day that history will record the spring of 2020 as the high school season of what might have been.

With the announced decision by Governor Roy Cooper on Monday to keep students out of public schools in North Carolina at least through May 15 due to the threat of COVID-19, the chance of high school athletics resuming at any point this school year is in serious jeopardy.

The NCHSAA’s quick response to the governor’s announcement was to extend the suspension of high school sports through at least May 18. The original shutdown, which included the basketball state championship games, was through April 6.

High school athletics have been on hold across the state since midnight on March 14. Not just games, meets and matches in baseball, softball, boys tennis, girls soccer, girls and boys track and field and boys golf, but also any school-related training, workout and skill development.

“Having heard the updated information relative to schools remaining closed until the middle of May, NCHSAA interscholastic athletics will remain suspended until at least May 18,” NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker said in a statement. “The NCHSAA Board of Directors and staff will use the next few weeks to weigh our future decisions based on the new directions given by Governor Cooper, other government leaders, and organizations charged with public health and safety during this unprecedented time. Such decisions will include the possible resumption of spring sports’ competition and the possibility of holding the state basketball championships.”

So it’s probably going to be what might have been for East Rowan baseball slugger Wayne Mize (five homers and 15 RBIs in six games), for Carson’s breakout star Dylan Driver (.692 batting average in six games), for South Rowan soccer star Madison Henry (13 goals in five games), for West Rowan softball pitcher Whitley Arnott (40 strikeouts in three games), for Salisbury pitcher Ellen Yang (53 strikeouts in five games), and for West baseball pitchers Cullen Davis and Casey Gouge, who still had 0.00 ERAs after multiple outings.

What might have been for North Rowan rookie baseball coach Patrick Hampton’s senior-laden team.

Actually, what might have been for Rowan County baseball, in general. East, West, Carson and South all were headed for stellar seasons, while Salisbury went 3-0 the week before “the break.”

It’s also probably going to be what might have been for traditional powers like Salisbury boys tennis and Salisbury girls soccer that were obviously going to be outstanding again. And also for surprise teams such as South Rowan soccer. The Raiders, who won four times all last season, had started 5-0.

The NCHSAA has dealt with disaster/crisis situations in the past, such as devastating hurricanes that disrupted football seasons, but a pandemic is uncharted territory for everyone.

“While we remain hopeful that we will be able to resume competition, particularly for our senior student-athletes, we also recognize the need to protect the health and safety of our students, coaches and the communities we serve,” Tucker said.

Comments

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 deaths, 166 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds

Local

Salisbury Station one of several ‘hot spots’ included in NCDOT rail safety study

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, school considering options

News

Iredell County votes to move Confederate memorial to cemetery

Nation/World

Lara Trump may have eyes on running for a Senate seat

Local

Rowan among counties in Biden’s disaster declaration from November floods

Local

PETA plans protest at Salisbury Police Department on Friday

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, charter revoked

Coronavirus

29 new positives, no new COVID-19 deaths reported

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month