By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Governor Baker announced on April 21 that all K-12 schools and non emergency childcare programs will remain closed until at least the end of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes all public, private and charter schools in the state of Massachusetts (MIAA, ISL, etc).
With schools no longer in session, all after-school events and extra-curricular programs will not be conducted. The MIAA board met virtually on April 24 and unanimously voted to officially cancel the 2020 spring season before announcing the news on the organization's Twitter account (@MIAA033).
Today the @MIAA033 Board met & unanimously voted to cancel the 2020 spring sport season. Another difficult day. May we all continue to follow requested safety protocols to help us through this pandemic. Stay well. #OneTeamOneMIAA @MarshfieldSuper @MSAA_33 @MSSADA8 pic.twitter.com/QjCXYc2N2D— MIAA (@MIAA033) April 24, 2020
Along with sports, Governor Baker’s announcement also hammers the final nail into the coffin for all other high school events that annually occur from April-June. Events such as proms, banquets and graduations will also not be taking place.
This result seemed inevitable over the last several weeks due to the number of COVID-19 cases across the state and the nation still rising by the day. However, it is still surreal to think that not a single spring athletic event will take place in 2020. So many of these athletes put everything they had into preparing for the upcoming season, just to have it taken away due to circumstances completely out of their control.
These are supposed to be the greatest months of a high school senior’s life, especially for spring athletes giving it one final go at competing for a championship. For the majority of high school seniors, this is it for their organized athletic careers. Some will go on and play lacrosse, baseball, softball, tennis or run track in college, but that is a small fraction of the total number. Instead of spending their final high school days with their friends and coaches, going to prom and attending graduation, these athletes will be cooped up inside and receiving diplomas by mail.
Heartbroken. Especially for our seniors. 💔🥍 pic.twitter.com/biQiY44Pd4— Medfield HS Lacrosse (@Med_Lax) April 21, 2020
While it is obvious that this had to be done in order to flatten the curve and combat the virus, watching these high school and college seniors go through all of this makes my heart ache.
As for what lies ahead, hopefully the summer will allow for Legion baseball and club lacrosse to happen. Most seniors are still eligible to play Legion baseball, as long as they are 19 years of age or younger. Club lacrosse programs such as Laxachusetts and 3D should run as planned for all non-current senior athletes. Talks for a 2020 summer tournament for seniors to help benefit COVID-19 relief have begun to heat up.
Attention Teams! We are happy to announce our first ever HS and Town Pride Invitationals. Full field, 2020 seniors included!— LaxachusettsLacrosse (@LXCMinutemen) April 24, 2020
If you would like to reserve a team slot please contact:
Boys/HS: Daggett Morse dmorse@XBHS.com
Girls/HS: abbey simone: firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/VljyiCk2Gk
Hingham and Xaverian lacrosse have also discussed, on Twitter, the idea of having a summer league for seniors if the COVID-19 pandemic is able to be controlled within the coming months. Allowing these high school lacrosse players to at least compete with their friends and teammates one final time is better than nothing.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as game highlights, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.