The handwriting for the 2020 spring sports season was on the wall, but on Friday afternoon, it became set in stone. The California Interscholastic Federation made the decision to cancel the remainder of the high school spring sports season.
On the CIF website, CIF executive director Ron Nocetti wrote, “Based on the recent statements issued by Governor Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, regarding schools turning to distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) does not see an avenue for the spring sports season to continue. As such, in consultation today with the 10 Section Commissioners, the decision has been made to cancel spring Section, Regional, and State Championship events.”
He continued, “We understand this is disappointing for everyone involved in education-based athletics and empathize with our student-athletes and all who are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. As always, our top priority is everyone's ongoing health and safety during this challenging time, and we all look forward to the day when education-based athletics resumes.”
The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section website said, “After consultation with the CIF State office and the state's other nine Section commissioners, the decision has been made to cancel all postseason events for Spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision didn't come lightly, and we waited as long as possible to see if there was a lucky break on the horizon. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be.”
Bret Harte and Calaveras High School have been away from athletic competition since the Mother Lode League suspended play on March 12, with the hopes of returning to action on April 1. On March 18, Mother Lode League commissioner Jerry Rucker postponed all spring sporting events until further notice.
However, the majority of Calaveras and Bret Harte student-athletes had a good understanding that they wouldn't get the opportunity to finish out their spring season, as the Calaveras County Office of Education announced on Wednesday that all public school campuses in the county will remain closed through the end of the school year, following statements made by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Thurmond and Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“It’s just disappointing all the way around,” Calaveras athletic director Mike Koepp said. “It’s a bummer. You have so many people who have invested so much time and effort into it. Everyone thinks of the kids and that’s why we do it, but there are a lot of people behind the scenes, like the coaching staffs, who put in a lot of time with things like fundraising efforts. You also have community members who are helping out with our programs and they lose out as well. Overall, it’s the whole community who misses out and you don’t get to reap the benefits of all that hard work. There’s just a lot of things that are unavoidable about this whole deal, but it’s still very disappointing.”
And Friday’s announcement by the CIF made it official. Over 60 seniors from Bret Harte and Calaveras will not get to finish out their final year of spring sports.