Santa Clara County’s largest high school sports league canceled its spring season Wednesday, becoming the first of what inevitably might be all to make that call as administrators deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The 24-school Blossom Valley Athletic League, which stretches from Morgan Hill to San Jose, Campbell and part of Saratoga, has decided it will not wait any longer, pulling the plug on sports such as baseball, softball, track and field and swimming that have been on hiatus for nearly two weeks.
“We were holding out hope that we could give the kids at least a few games, as a distraction,” BVAL commissioner Bill Murray wrote in a text.
The news came on a day in which school districts throughout the Bay Area extended campus closures until at least May 4.
The California Interscholastic Federation discussed spring sports championships last week with its 10 section commissioners, announcing after the meeting that it would revisit the topic on April 3.
BVAL coaches were not shocked by their league’s decision.
“To some degree, we all knew this was the path we were headed down,” Leland baseball coach and athletic director Mike Sparrer said. “There comes a place and time when athletics, you have to keep some perspective. There are some people out there fighting for their lives.
“Even if life picked up again on May 1, we’re looking at a week or two of the season to play. The timeline of it didn’t work out.”
Leland’s lineup included UCLA-bound Carson Yates, one of many athletes whose high school careers will be cut short by COVID-19.
“I feel really bad for the seniors and their families,” Oak Grove baseball coach Nate Anderson said. “They have an extra year of eligibility for college. But in high school, you’ve got to keep it moving. We’re living in history. It’s crazy.”
Leland’s Carson Yates (16) celebrates a home run he hit last season. (Photo by Pietro Brezzo)
Santa Teresa athletic director Scott Young is also the school’s track and field coach. His boys team finished fourth at last year’s Central Coast Section finals.
Even though standouts such as senior Omodiaogbe Oboh, the reigning CCS boys 400-meter champion, won’t get a chance to keep going, Young understood the decision.
“To flatten the curve, this is, unfortunately, a necessary byproduct of it,” he said. “The freshmen, sophomores and juniors, they will have another season down the line. But these seniors, they had big plans. We had big plans for Santa Teresa track and field at our school to be one of the on-paper favorites to win CCS.”
He added: “But it’s now gone.”
Days before its school was closed this month, Santa Teresa held an intra-squad meet.
“We didn’t know that would be the last time that we met officially,” Young said. “It was just us competing amongst ourselves on that Friday and it ended up being a really cool, unfortunate way to end the season. Just had one lasting memory heading into the unknown of a moratorium on the school year.”
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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports