UHSAA announces spring sports and activities will be suspended until May 1
It’s going to be at least another month before Summit County’s high school athletes have any chance of getting onto the field again.
The Utah High School Activities Association announced on Tuesday afternoon, in accordance with Gov. Gary Herbert’s order that all schools be shut down until at least May 1, that it extended the suspension of spring sports and activities until May 1 to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“With all of the uncertainty with the time frame and knowing very little, it’s going to be an interesting time for us all right now,” said Jamie Sheetz, Park City High School activities director, of the announcement. “No doubt it’s going to test us all but I know the coaches are doing everything they can to stay in touch with their athletes. Nobody likes this, but we are hoping to get back out there when we can and in a safe environment.”
While this may seem like a death sentence regarding the status of spring sports in the state of Utah, that’s not necessarily true.
According to UHSAA executive director Rob Cuff, the status of the spring sports season is out of his control to a certain extent. If Governor Herbert does not open up the schools and extends that suspension further, then there’s nothing Cuff can do because there cant be sports without school.
“This isn’t much of a surprise, because we saw this coming since they shut down the schools, but I think that was more of a surprise when they announced the schools were closed that long,” said David Feasler, Park City baseball coach. “I’m bummed more than anything, as are all my boys. I’ve heard little talks that they might extend school, and hopefully they’ll consider having sports go that long as well.”
If Governor Herbert does decide to reopen schools on May 1, Cuff and his associates are already looking at multiple contingency plans to allow the season to commence.
There are two phases that UHSAA is working on if the sports season were to resume. The first part is to open the season on May 2 and the end the season on May 25, the typical end date for the season. The second phase, which Feasler alluded to, would end the season on June 13 — although school would end on June 2 if they keep the original end date.
“I’ve heard multiple things, but basically it’s coming down to some saying any games are better than none while others are saying it’s not fair to the athletes if they get hurt by jumping into the season,” said Michael Persky, Park City lacrosse coach. “Kids are resilient and for the most part, they’re trying to stay sharp out there. If they’re willing to resurrect any part of the season, we would love and accept that.”
Regardless of what the decision is in the end, Park City coaches and their players refusing to give up hope that their respective seasons may still be played. And if so, like Persky alluded to, they’ll be ready.
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