The domino effect of the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect California schools, as post-season athletic tournaments were finally canceled officially last week.
After Gov. Mike Parson made an announcement of school closures statewide for the remainder of the school year, the Missouri State High School Activities Association announced the cancellation of all remaining post-season events for the 2019-20 school year on April 9 in short order.
"This decision is very difficult for all involved especially given the impact it will have on our students, parents, coaches, teachers, and administrators throughout the state," MSHSAA Executive Director Dr. Kerwin Urhahn said in a release. "We thank all of the participants, the coaches/directors/advisors, the administrations, the parents, and everyone else who has dedicated tremendous amounts of time, passion, and effort to these events."
Urhahn also addressed Missouri's graduating participants in the release, thanking them for the work they've done for their schools and communities and wishing them the best moving forward.
"While this is a difficult ending, the lessons you've learned and friendships you've made through high school activities will last your lifetime," Urhahn said in the release. "The MSHSAA office thanks everyone involved for their patience and understanding throughout this process."
California School District Athletic Director Rick Edwards said the biggest impact of the official cancellation of athletics to finish out the year will be on the athletes, especially the seniors.
"(For) the seniors, this was their last season that they were going to get to play," Edwards said. "That is the biggest impact that has on everything. You (have) some kids that have worked hard for one, two, three, or all four years, and they are not going to get their season in."
Another impact is the umpires won't be working now that the baseball season has been canceled. Edwards said there's also a social aspect of people going to the games which is lost as a result of the cancellation.
The seasons being canceled will also have a small financial impact on concessions when it comes to baseball.
"The baseball booster club does the concessions and they make money off of that. They use that money to buy stuff for the facility," Edwards said. "It won't be a huge deal, but just not having that money coming in, we won't have as much money to buy stuff for the facility, and the booster club has done a great job of doing that. The money that comes in from the gate goes back into a baseball account and it is used for stuff too from time to time. You have a little bit of a financial hit."
Edwards said though it is difficult for graduating athletes to have their time cut short by the recent circumstances, he would tell seniors they should look back at all the other activities and sports they have been a part of during their time in high school and know that they are something to be proud of.
"It is just a circumstance that happened out of their control that we could not have this season, and unfortunate for sure that it happened," Edwards said. "I think that the main thing (the seniors) should look back at is what they have accomplished (in) their high school career because the kids who are the athletes, and in the choir, and in the band, and doing the extracurricular and co-curricular activities are kids that put a lot of time and effort in. I think they have to look back at that and go out with their heads held high because they have accomplished a lot since they have been here."