Pandemic takes a toll on local sports

The outbreak of COVID-19 has not only brought the entire state to a standstill, it also has the sports world in one as well.
That includes high school athletics.
A week ago, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association shut down the state basketball tournament the day it was set to begin.
A few days later, it also suspended all spring athletics.
“Hate it for our kids and coaching staff,” Yukon baseball coach Kevin James said.
Tuesday, the OSSAA made its first announcement since the suspension of activities.
“The OSSAA has been carefully monitoring COVID-–19 and following all the recommendations put forth from the CDC. We have also been in contact with state associations at both a national and regional level,” said OSSAA officials in a statement.
“Based on the action of the State Department of Education, the OSSAA is requiring that during this time, all school personnel, including certified, adjunct or volunteer coaches are prohibited from engaging in any type of activity involving secondary students; no practice, instruction, training, weight lifting, tryouts, competition or travel is permitted. School facilities will be closed until April 6, 2020, at which time the situation will be revaluated.”
All school districts are out until April 6.
According to the OSSAA, they plan to continue the spring season at some point after classes resume.
“The OSSAA remains determined to make every effort to play all spring activities as scheduled,” according to the OSSAA. “Should it become necessary, the OSSAA will make adjustments to the current schedules and communicate those changes to the membership.”
Yukon tennis coach Barney Moon said he is holding out hope the season will continue.
“I am hopeful we can still get the season in,” Moon said. “I am telling my players to stay optimistic and say your prayers.  We will know a lot more April 6.”
The OSSAA has the same plans to conclude the rest of the state basketball tournaments and other activities as well.
“At this time, all fine arts activities after April 6 will remain as scheduled,” said the OSSAA. “The fine arts activities scheduled during the week of March 30 have been postponed. We will continue to work with the State Department of Education, the State Health Department, and the governor’s office as we work to reschedule these fine arts activities.”
Until a final assessment can be made on whether sports will be able to continue, the OSSAA is asking all coaches and athletes to follow the advice from the state.

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