High school spring sports season for Nevada County, state, officially nixed | TheUnion.com

High school spring sports season for Nevada County, state, officially nixed

The pitching mound at Nevada Union High School remains covered where the varsity Miners would normally be in full swing this time of year.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com

The 2020 high school spring sports season has been canceled.

Heading into the week there was still a slim chance a season could be salvaged. Slim became none on Thursday when the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools office announced that schools would close and move to distance learning for the rest of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision ended any hopes local high school athletes may have had of getting back on the field.

The California Interscholastic Federation made it statewide on Friday.

“Based on the recent statements issued by Governor Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, regarding schools turning to distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, the California Interscholastic Federation does not see an avenue for the spring sports season to continue,” CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti said in a statement. “As such, in consultation today with the 10 Section Commissioners, the decision has been made to cancel spring Section, Regional, and State Championship events.”

The spring sports seasons being lost to the pandemic include: baseball, boys golf, softball, track and field, boys tennis, co-ed tennis and boys volleyball.

“I feel terrible for the spring athletes, and all of our students,” said Bear River Athletic Director Scott Savoie. “This is impacting not just athletes but all of our students. It’s just a travesty. It’s terrible that it’s happening, but the bigger picture is we need to keep them safe, and I’m just hoping we all come out of this stronger for it.

“It’s difficult, but there are things more important than sports and that is the personal wellbeing of our students and families in our community,” Savoie added. “I feel especially bad for our senior athletes that didn’t get a chance to finish up their spring seasons. But we got to play out the hand we’re dealt and make the best of it.”

Nevada Union Athletic Director Daniel Crossen said he was hoping the season could be continued in some form, but understands the decision.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “I was hoping they were going to salvage something. I feel for our kids, the community, the school and the seniors, especially.”

Nevada Union senior softball player Danielle Schnitzius said not being able to spend time with her teammates has been the most difficult part.

“Softball isn’t just a place to play a game, it’s a place where people come alongside you and take care of you,” she said. “Also, when I was able to be a captain, just having those talks with people where I wasn’t just a captain on the field but also in other times, whether that was prayers before a game or if they’re having a bad day. That’s what I’m going to miss the most, the relationships and just all the moments I had with them.”

The CIF’s decision to cancel its spring championship events follows the cancellation of spring sports by the NCAA and postponement of most professional sports.

“We understand this is disappointing for everyone involved in education-based athletics and empathize with our student-athletes and all who are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak,” the statement from Nocetti said. “As always, our top priority is everyone’s ongoing health and safety during this challenging time, and we all look forward to the day when education-based athletics resumes.”

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

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