Alabama High School Spring Sports are Canceled Due to the Coronavirus
GOVERNOR KAY IVEY ISSUED ORDER THAT ALL SCHOOLS FINISH ACADEMIC YEAR AT HOME
Spring high school sports in Alabama have officially been canceled after Governor Kay Ivey issued and order on Thursday afternoon, announcing that all local school systems finish the academic year at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unfortunately, soccer, baseball, softball, track, band, all of those spring activities are coming to an end and they won’t be able to complete those seasons,” said Alabama State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey.
For some athletes, this was their last chance to win a high school championship. Lanett senior high jumper Zameron Boozer looked to defend his AHSAA state title, while Central softball had the pieces in place to make a deep run. Central senior third baseman Shelby Newsome will play softball at Jacksonville State next year, but she was looking forward to playing one last season with the Red Devils.
“We have been waiting for this year since I was in seventh grade,” said Newsome. “We all came into the program and we all had potential. Coach Holt knew we had the work ethic to keep getting better and better.”
Boozer and his twin brother Cameron will be taking their basketball talents to Jacksonville University next season. In 2020, the Lanett Panthers advanced to the AHSAA Class 1A Basketball State Championship, where they fell short in the closing seconds. Track was Boozer’s last chance.
“It was really what I was looking forward to after we had lost because it was my only chance of getting a ring. It really hurt a lot, but I’m getting over it.”
Shutting down the spring season early is painful for the coaches as well, just ask Auburn High Baseball Head Coach Matt Cimo.
“You know, the hard part is not seeing the kids because I just really enjoy being around the kids everyday and learning from them,” said Cimo.
Russell County senior pitcher and infielder Zack Henderson announced on Friday, March 27 that he will continue his baseball career at Southern Union State Community College. After his season came to an end on Thursday, he had this advice for the underclassmen.
“Don’t take it for granted. You never know when it’s going to be over,” said Henderson. “Especially with all of this stuff going on. It was definitely cut short and this isn’t how it should go out.”
“I’m truly sorry, and I know Governor Ivey and Dr. (Scott) Harris are sorry that students are losing so many of the fun activities of their senior year that they really count on,” said Mackey. “We have to do what is the most important and pressing thing, and that’s protecting the health and safety of our community.”