Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our spring sports season has been postponed… but for how long? No one knows the true answer to that question, but everyone’s health is more important to focus on during this pandemic. Spring sports seasons usually run from the end of March to mid-May.
To keep the spread of the virus to a minimum, the student-athletes are asked to not practice in groups or on school grounds, but there are other ways of staying in shape to get ready for your season. Depending on your sport, you could practice by yourself. For example, for track and field throwing, you could do drills to help with your technique and watch videos of other throwers to critique them. You could also do strength training or go for a run around your neighborhood.
Rather you play boys tennis or volleyball, track and field, baseball, softball, golf, lacrosse, or unified basketball, everyone is upset about the postponing. Most of the student-athletes have been training all winter for their big sports seasons.
Reaching out to Mr. Greg O’Connor, our Athletic Director, said that at this time there is not any information about spring sports. The Rhode Island Interscholastic League has held conference calls with other states bordering Rhode Island about this issue including MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, and CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) over the past couple weeks to discuss several plans for the spring sports season. As of right now, everyone is waiting to see what is going to happen with COVID-19.
“The RIIL, as well as the Superintendents of all the schools in Rhode Island, are taking direction from the Governor's office and the Department of Health in terms of social distancing, virtual learning, and other methods to help flatten the curve in our region.” As of right now, schools in Rhode Island are all using virtual learning and the Governor is urging all non-essential Rhode Island residents to stay at home to prevent the virus from spreading, “...this leaves spring sports hanging in the balance for now”.
O’Connor explained how if the school is not in session, there can not be any sports at the present time. “ My heart goes out to all spring student-athletes, especially the seniors, as well as those student-athletes that did not get to finish their winter sports seasons. I know it is a frustrating and difficult time for many but we are facing unprecedented times and more and more cases are being reported each day.”
“Right now I strongly urge all of our students and student-athletes to take this pandemic seriously. Our high school athletics facilities are currently shut down. No students or student-athletes should be gathering in groups to work out or practice. We must heed the Governor's warnings and advice during this difficult time and hopefully, we will start to flatten this curve and be able to have some type of spring sports season.”
Mr. O’Connor was even interviewed by the Woonsocket Call/Pawtucket Times last week. “If I were back at Cumberland and I had lost the opportunity to play my final basketball season, I know I’d be upset, but we’re telling the kids that are experiencing this now, we’ve never seen anything like it.” O’Connor also hopes to have spring sports back as soon as possible.
Track and field star, Allison Plante, had a few words about the postponement of spring sports, “I am saddened that the possibility of spring sports happening is decreasing by the day. This was my senior season.” She has been preparing for this season since the fall. “I am fortunate enough to already be committed and know where I am going. I sympathize with those seniors who do not and must make their choice under these conditions.” she would like to stay positive and hope that we are able to return to school and sports but she is burdened with the understanding of the severity of coronavirus and knowing that we may not have spring sports.
Kyle Moison, Auburn University track and field commit, also had some words about this spring sports season saying, “every athlete is affected by this crisis in many ways. Being a senior during this time of terror is disappointing especially because I might not have my senior year Outdoor track season.” Not only might his outdoor track season not happen, but he also had the rest of his indoor track season canceled. He was planning on competing at his New Balance Indoor Nationals meet, which he trained for since the spring, but due to the virus, that sadly got canceled as well. “I am upset about it but completely openminded because it’s for everyone’s safety.”
Although the spring sports season has been postponed, it is best for the health of everyone. Without the halt of the spring sports seasons, the virus could have been spread to athletes and families.