Health & Wellness

Spring activities still don’t know their fate

CRESWELL – The aspirations of hundreds of high school athletes were shattered when Oregon public schools closed from March 16 to at least March 31, as mandated by Gov. Kate Brown, and the OSAA (Oregon School Activities Association) canceled all remaining state championships for basketball (4A-6A) and dance/drill.
“Looking back, I am grateful that our (basketball state championships) were the week before so we could finish them in their entirety, and not have them cut short like the 4A/5A/6A finals were,” said Creswell High School athletic director Brandon Standridge.
What about spring sports? For now, OSAA has prohibited all practices and contests at least through March 31. By that time, a decision will have been made on whether to lift or extend that ban, or cancel spring seasons.
Until a final decision is made, all divisions of Oregon public, private and charter school student-athletes, coaches, administrators, families and fans remain in limbo. During the suspension, teams cannot travel, individual athletes and teams cannot use school athletic facilities (although baseball and softball coaches may maintain their playing fields), and coaches cannot hold voluntary or optional practices.
While athletes can train individually, using workouts communicated by their coaches, coaches are not permitted to organize or participate in those workouts.
“Hopefully we’ll find some sort of silver lining with all of this. Sports are always a way for kids to find worth and feel successful so with them being canceled, it’s a big damper on the community and the kids. We’re all just waiting to get back in it and start our seasons again,” said golf head coach Jesse Thomas
The impact of the suspension is wider than spring sports: The OSAA sanctions other activities such as band, orchestra, choir, solo music and speech contests.
To date, competitions canceled for 2020 include the Clackamas Jazz Festival, Willamette Valley Concert Band Festival and Reno Jazz Festival – and more music competitions and concerts may follow, depending on the spread of the virus and OSAA’s ultimate decision about the season.
For seniors, especially, in sports and music, the blow of – potentially – canceling their competition season may hit hardest of all.
There will be no “unfinished business” to resolve for high school seniors striving to win or repeat a state or league title, set new personal bests, break school records in their final season.
“Obviously, we are disappointed that our students are missing out on events that are unique to high school – especially our seniors,” Standridge said. “However, we understand the gravity of the situation that we are facing around the nation and will do our part to help stop the spread of the virus.”
That disappointment is echoed in the music program: “The music kids were primed for festivals, trips and state contests; this is a very tight and talented group of kids and I was looking forward to their successes and the trips,” said music director Sandi Green. “All of them have made so much progress this year.
“Several online music programs have offered free subscriptions to their apps and I am working on getting that information out to students,” she said, adding that some students have begun private lessons online.



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