Spring season comes to an abrupt end for Arizona high school teams due to coronavirus
On Monday, the Arizona Interscholastic Association pulled the plug for the remainder of the 2020 spring sports season.
The announcement comes on the heels of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordering a statewide closure of schools through the end of the school year. The decision is in a response to the latest guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention as the nation battles the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“This is an unfortunate circumstance for all of our member schools, students and coaches,” said AIA Executive Director David Hines in a press release. “We know this decision was a hard one, but one that was necessary to assist in the well-being of everyone across Arizona. We hope everyone stays healthy and focused on what the next chapter will bring.”
“We really feel for everyone involved with our schools,” AIA Executive Board President Jeannine Brandel added. “So many have worked very hard for their chance to win a state championship, especially this year’s seniors. But we encourage you to still be students and to still be athletes. Strive to better yourselves during this time.”
Tuba City softball coach Kevin Maho said it’s unfortunate the AIA had to come down with that decision, especially for his senior group.
“My seniors are being the impacted the most by not playing at all,” he said.
The Tuba City coach said they hadn’t played a game this year as they were scheduled to play a pair of doubleheaders as well as a tournament when the season was suspended on March 20.
“I don’t like the decision because we were starting to get into the groove with some of the girls I had over the summer,” Maho said. “They worked very hard and they were looking to get into college.”
With a couple of promising freshmen pitchers, Maho was expecting his team to improve on their 7-17 mark last season.
“Offensively, I could see that we made a lot of improvements in our hitting,” he said. “They were getting rid of bad habits.”
The Navajo Times reached out to other coaches but they were not available at press time.