Oregon high school athletes who had been hoping for a chance at a shortened spring season saw those hopes dashed on Wednesday, April 8.
The Oregon School Activities Association — the governing body for high school sports and activities — announced the cancelation via an email at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
While the cancelation wasn't really a surprise, it was still a major disappointment for everyone associated with high school spring sports.
In his email announcing the cancelation to athletes at West Linn High School, Interim Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Ian Lamont wrote: "I am sure you have heard by now the sad news that school and thus spring sports are shut down for the rest of the year. I have to be honest with you — I was still holding out hope that it would not come to this and when I was watching the news conference I started crying over the loss of the last three months of the year. … My tears where the only way I could express my sadness for every single senior across the state and country and for all those families who were so excited for their senior to graduate."
"I was disappointed for all of our coaches and athletes, but especially for our seniors," said Lakeridge Athletic Director Nathan Stanley. "The senior season for an athlete is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, and for them to have that taken from them is sad in many ways."
"I was not too surprised given the lack of progress we have made … (but) I could still not believe this is what it has come to," said Lake Oswego Athletic Director Brigham Baker. "To see the looks on our kids' faces prior to leaving school … (and now) the look they must have had when they saw spring was canceled. This is terrible, but hopefully it gets fixed and we can move forward in a healthy place."
The OSAA email announcing cancelation of the spring season read, in part: "Per Governor Kate Brown's announcement earlier today that Oregon schools will be closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the school year, the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) has canceled all remaining Spring activities and state championships.
"Today's heart wrenching decision is difficult for all members of the OSAA family," said Peter Weber, OSAA Executive Director. "We empathize with students and school communities, especially our graduating seniors, but recognize that these cancelations will allow our collective focus to remain where it's most needed at this time — on the health and safety of all Oregonians."
As difficult as the situation is for senior athletes at West Linn, Lake Oswego and Lakeridge, it's one that the athletes have handled with customary class and maturity.
"I have been really proud of how our athletes have dealt with the adversity and glad that our programs have been able to provide that connection despite social distancing," Stanley said.
"(I haven't) received any feedback yet, though I can take a guess at what feedback would be — complete sadness," Baker said.
Lamont, meanwhile, shared an Instagram post by his son, Luke, a senior at Lakeridge and a member of the Pacer boys lacrosse team, "to offer some student perspective to these times," he said. "I am very thankful that I have a thoughtful, mature and relatively grounded 18-year old."
The complete statement from the OSAA is here.
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