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PIAA officially cancels basketball, swimming championships, wipes out all spring sports

Middletown's Jordyn Dupes bats against Camp Hill during a softball game on April 10, 2019.
Middletown's Jordyn Dupes bats against Camp Hill during a softball game on April 10, 2019.
staff photo by laura hayes

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association on Thursday canceled all spring sports as well as the remaining championships from the winter sports that had not been completed.

That affects one Blue Raider athlete from winter sports. Sophomore Gavin Guckavan was to take part in the Boys 2A competition at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. His events are the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard backstroke.

He previously told the Press & Journal that, while there is a letdown in not competing, he understands the health concerns and said he feels bad for his older fellow competitors.

“I always have the next two years. I just feel bad for all of the seniors that were robbed of their last high school swim,” he said.

The remainder of the PIAA boys and girls basketball tournaments also are canceled.

The Middletown winter sports eliminated by the decision are baseball, softball, boys tennis and track and field. Other PIAA spring sports are boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse and boys volleyball.

The PIAA announcement came on the same day that Gov. Tom Wolf shut down schools for the rest of the academic year because of the coronavirus.

“Today’s decision by the PIAA Board of Directors was difficult for everyone. Their thoughts remain on the thousands of student-athletes, coaches, officials and family members affected by this decision,” said PIAA Executive Director Robert A. Lombardi. “However, the board’s position reflects a steadfast priority of keeping our student-athletes, officials and member schools’ staffs and their communities safe, while following the guidelines provided by the governor, the Department of Health and the Department of Education.”

He said the PIAA had hoped for the continuation of the basketball and swimming championships and an abbreviated spring season “to help bring a sense of normalcy to our communities.”

“As we navigate through this difficult time, we need to remember the lessons that interscholastic athletics has taught us: cooperation, patience, sacrifice, responsibility, respect and perseverance,” he said, adding that 17 other state high school associations have ended their sports seasons in similar fashion.

The PIAA Board of Directors will meet in the coming months to address concerns that arise from the membership from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PIAA said it hopes that summer activities will be able to commence July 1, but it is too early to reach any decisions or offer guidance.