ARCHBALD, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The Pennsylvania interscholastic athletic association said Thursday it has canceled all remaining winter championships and spring sports.
The decision came after Gov. Tom Wolf announced Pennsylvania schools will be closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
For nearly a month, high school student-athletes held out hope they could return to normal on the courts, fields and track, but Thursday afternoon those hopes were crushed.
Valley View High School baseball coach, Jason Munley says, “once we got the news it spread like wildfire.”
Athletic director, Chris Killiany adds,”you’re looking forward to the season and it just gets wiped away.”
“When we were closed I definitely thought we would be coming back at some point maybe around this time. Then as the weeks went by I saw how serious this was getting, especially in Pennsylvania as our numbers are really growing,” says Killiany.
PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said in a statement Thursday, “today’s decision by the PIAA board of directors was difficult for everyone. Their thoughts remain on the thousands of student-athletes coaches, officials and family members affected by this decision.”
When the news broke, coaches and athletes alike were heartbroken.
“I was absolutely devastated and I reached out to the boys immediately and they felt the same way,” says Munley.
But Killany says he understands its for the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone across Pennsylvania. “It’s definitely the right decision, it’s too risky to put the kids in harms way and the coaches and the families.
Coaches at valley view high school say it’s a tough pill to swallow– but hope athletes choose to stay positive and look on to next year.
“To all the athletes across the state, just stay positive and good things will happen, sometimes things happen for a reason,” Munley adds.
According to PIAA, 17 other states have ended their sports seasons as well.
The PIAA said it remains hopeful that summer activities will begin July 1 but it’s too early to make any decisions.