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OSAA cancels spring sports season; Winterhawks' Gricius feted; 2022 world track and field championship set in Eugene

COURTESY PHOTO/KEITH DWIGGINS/PORTLAND WINTERHAWKS - Jake Gricius is the WHL's Western Conference Humanitarian of the Year is up for the league's overall award.• Spring prep sports have been cancelled. From the OSAA:

Per Gov. 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 cancelled 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 cancellations will allow our collective focus to remain where it's most needed at this time — on the health and safety of all Oregonians.

"We had maintained hope for an abbreviated spring season to help bring a sense of normalcy to these uncertain times," continued Weber. "Now more than ever we need to apply the lessons learned through participation in education-based activities — teamwork, sacrifice, resilience — and play our role in adhering to the public health guidelines. We all look forward to the day when we play again."

Current OSAA policies prohibiting the use of school facilities and coaches from organizing or directing workouts and practices remain in effect until further notice. The OSAA Executive Board will meet in the coming weeks to discuss policies for summer activities, along with academic eligibility concerns for fall 2020 that have been expressed by member schools and families.

For more:

• Winterhawks — Jake Gricius had a terrific career with the Portland Winterhawks.

It turned out that the 20-year-old forward was a pretty good "human" during his time in Portland as well. More specifically, Gricius has been named the Western Hockey League Western Conference Humanitarian of the Year for the 2019-20 season.

The Hawks' alternate captain wanted to take on more responsibility and give back to the community.

He reached out to Specialty Athletic Training, a group of personal trainers that work with individuals with special needs. He spent time last summer connecting with owner Ryan Lockard on behalf of the Winterhawks, and the team eventually toured the facility, met with clients for autographs and worked out at the facility.

Gricius also made countless visits to William Walker Elementary School and spent time reading, writing and spelling with young students. He visited Ronald McDonald House Charity and spent mornings working with Friends of Trees, Union Gospel Mission and Oregon Food Bank; he has also been active with Winterhawks Junior Hockey.

Gricius is from Colorado Springs, Colorado. He had 21 goals and 40 assists in 63 games in his final season and 71 goals and 89 assists in 271 regular-season games in four seasons with the Winterhawks.

Calgary's Riley Fiddler-Schultz is the Eastern Conference Humanitarian of the Year.

The winner of the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy for WHL Humanitarian of the Year will be announced on May 12.

The final NHL Central Scouting rankings includes five Portland Winterhawks players, topped by center Seth Jarvis at No. 11. The others: left wing Cross Hanas, 58th; right wing Simon Knak, 81st; defenseman Jonas Brondberg, 115th; right wing Robert Fromm-Delorme, 196th.

The Central Scouting rankings provide an idea of who might be drafted where in the upcoming NHL draft.

• Track and Field: The World Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held at Eugene's Hayward Field, July 15-24, 2022. It'll be the first world championships held in the United States.

Because of the postponement of the Olympics until summer 2021, the world championships in Eugene also had to be postponed by one year.

The meet's organizing committee, now called Oregon22, and USA Track & Field and World Athletics made the announcement Wednesday. Hayward Field is undergoing a reconstruction to be able to hold the world championships.

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