Covid 19 did what Chester Charter and Lancaster Country Day couldn’t do – halt the Susquehanna Lady Sabers’ march through the PIAA state playoffs.
On Thursday, a day after capturing their second win in the Class A state playoffs Susquehanna learned their playoff run would be halted at least two weeks as the PIAA decided to suspend the basketball and swimming championships due to the concerns associated with the Covid 19 virus.
By Friday afternoon the Governor Tom Wolfe had ordered all Pennsylvania schools closed for the next two weeks.
“The timing stinks,” said Susquehanna Coach Kirk Fallon. “Obviously, I understand the reasons, but from a sports perspective it stinks. We were just hitting our stride.”
After the cancellation of professional and NCAA events the thought of the high school seasons may seem inevitable.
“We’re trying to stay positive, and hope that our season resumes,” said Senior Susquehanna girls’ basketball player Mackenzie Steele.
After the decision to close school for two weeks coaches had to get even more creative.
“I’ve encouraged our girls to go get shots up, to run, stay sharp,” said Fallon. “Who knows what’s going to happen. They tell us in two weeks to resume, we have to be ready to go.”
Montrose Track and Field Coach Dean Brewer distributed workouts to his team members and encouraged them to continue preparing for the season.
“We didn’t have school on Friday, due to an in-service, so we scrambled and put together a workout and gave it to them,” said Brewer. “Fortunately, with social media the kids are able to share it with those who we didn’t see.”
Spring athletes normally have to worry about the weather rather than a pandemic.
“That’s the irony of the whole situation,” said Brewer. “We were probably ahead of schedule weather wise.”
Brewer sympathized with the winter sport athletes and coaches whose seasons were put on hold.
“Our stuff really doesn’t get going until April,” noted Brewer. “But being in your playoffs or state meets and not knowing what’s going to happen has to be tough.”
Brewer also wondered what effect the cancellation of the NCAA sports season could have on the high school schedule even if competition resumes.
“Several colleges host invitationals that we attend,” explained Brewer. “Are they going to allow us to come there?”
Shippensburg University hosts the PIAA Track and Field Championships and do not only athletes and coaches compete but often stay on campus during the event.
“We probably fill up most of the dorm space that weekend,” said Brewer.