The Arizona Interscholastic Association recently announced that high school sports are cancelled for the remainder of the school year.
Additionally, all school related activities are also cancelled, including official esports competitions. When Arizona governor Doug Ducey announced the cessation of all on-campus learning at the state’s schools through the spring semester, that decision included all school-sponsored extracurricular sports and activities. As such, the remainder of the AIA spring season and championships have been cancelled.
“This is an unfortunate circumstance for all of our member schools, students and coaches,” said AIA Executive Director David Hines. “We know this decision was a hard one, but one that was necessary to assist in the well-being of everyone across Arizona. We hope everyone stays healthy and focused on what the next chapter will bring.”
“We really feel for everyone involved with our schools,” AIA Executive Board President Jeannine Brandel added. “So many have worked very hard for their chance to win a state championship, especially this year’s seniors. But we encourage you to still be students and to still be athletes. Strive to better yourselves during this time.”
On the local level, Donna Savill, head track coach at Douglas High School, said this is a big disappointment for her seniors who were looking forward to the upcoming season.
“They will always have that what if situation,” she said. “We started on a great path but we will just have to pick up where we left off next year. I will miss not being able to have this season with our seniors and not being able to recognize their accomplishments. I want all our seniors to know we are very proud of them and sorry this happened. For all the underclassmen we will see you next year. I want you all to know you are hard workers and we had such a great team this year. Sorry it had to end so quickly. Stay safe and healthy.”
Savill’s team was fortunate they were able to host the Ted James Douglas Invitational prior to the season being paused and then subsequently, cancelled.
The Bulldog baseball team was 7-1 when play was halted and had played just one home game at Copper King Stadium.
“First of all, it’s unfortunate and necessary for the safety of us all,” Bulldog baseball coach Gilbert Rojas added. “We all feel disappointed as we were looking forward to a great season, as we were off to a good start. I feel bad for our seniors who didn’t get to finish the season and everything else that happens their senior year. It’s hard to accept as we’ve been working hard since September, we didn’t just just lose this past month but the whole year of preparation. We’ll miss these seniors especially since we’ll always have unfinished business. This is a great group of seniors who I’ll always miss.”
The Lady Bulldog softball team had yet to play a home game and had its tournament that was scheduled to host March 20-21, cancelled.
“It has been very difficult knowing that we will not go back to school or play,” DHS softball coach Lorena Tapia said. “I’m sure it’s extremely difficult for our student athletes, especially our seniors.I know that for my girls it’s been very hard to cope with the idea of not being back on that field. To have something taken from you that you have done for many years, to prepare for this last year and leave a memory and now it’s gone in a blink of an eye to something we have no control over. It’s very heart breaking.”
Tapia quoted an unknown individual who said, “A winner is that person who gets up one more time than he was knocked down.
“I know you will all get up from this and become something great,” Tapia said.
Tennis had played several home matches but its state playoff aspirations were crushed when the remainder of the season was cancelled.
Marissa Aguirre, Douglas’ girls tennis coach, said she understands health is very important at any stage of life, especially for student athletes.
“I am pretty disheartened due to all of the lost opportunities our seniors were waiting on,” she said. “But my hope now for the girls that are leaving us is that they always remember the love for those they met in this time and the sport itself won’t end as long as they keep a joyful heart.”