The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) officially cancelled all of its remaining sports for the remainder of the school year, the organization announced Thursday morning.
The baseball, softball, track and field, tennis, golf and gymnastics seasons were suspended last month following Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ stay at home order and discouraging of large gatherings to combat the spread of COVID-19. Many held out hope there would be a way to resume the seasons in an abbreviated fashion, but that will not happen. The ruling ends ongoing winter championships and all spring regular season and championship competition.
“This decision was not in haste and was discussed with tremendous concern for those senior athletes being affected,” said LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine. “We realize and concur with the argument about returning to normalcy and allowing seniors to have their moment, just like we did for the boys’ basketball championships … unfortunately, circumstances today are tremendously different than circumstances were that week in March … our unwavering focus must now remain on doing our part by continuing to follow any and all mitigation measures set forth by our Governor.”
Bonine said he and LHSAA officials and staff will discuss summer activities and make proactive plans if the coronavirus threatens to affect the opening of schools and the beginning of the LHSAA’s fall seasons.
He said the decision began to take form after Edwards announced on April 3 that the closure of schools would be extended to April 30. On April 8, the Louisiana Association of State Superintendents submitted a written request to Edwards to keep school facilities closures in place for the remainder of the school year.
Due to the severity of the virus and its spread, Bonine said, and the uncertainty surrounding these circumstances, the decision was made to call off all remaining contests for 2019-2020.
St. Charles Parish’s head baseball coaches took to Twitter Thursday to react following the news.
“The LHSAA has made the decision to cancel Spring sports. Although this is the correct decision, I am heartbroken for our Class of 2020 players,” said Hahnville baseball coach David Baudry, his message accompanying a photo of the Tigers’ five senior players. “These 5 guys did not get a chance to finish what they started but will leave a lasting legacy.”
Said Destrehan baseball coach Chris Mire, “Too much went in for it to end like this. They say the work is the reward, but we shall see. I know we all learned and got better, but we had unfinished business. Thank you to all of the players for all that you put in! Love you guys!”
Hahnville senior pitcher Jack Stumbo said last month, after the season was suspended, that the idea that he’d played his last prep baseball game was painful to consider.
“It’s really … I just feel empty almost. Just full of regrets,” Stumbo said. “Didn’t get to go out the way I wanted to, so much left on the table (were the season to end). It’s frustrating. Things happen for a reason … it’s probably a life lesson, to understand that you never know when something can end. But selfishly, I’m also kind of like, ‘Why me?’
“It’s almost like … my whole baseball life is coming up to this one last season, and for it to be cut short is tough to accept. You work so hard as a team, and then it’s just over.”
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