Senior girls soccer is a major casualty of a B.C. School Sports decision to suspend the spring season until further notice. (Progress file photo)

Chilliwack high school athletes impacted by spring sports shutdown

Shutting down spring sports is a tough pill to swallow for Grade 12 athletes in particular.

B.C. School Sports officially suspended all school sporting activities on Tuesday in a memorandum to school athletic directors.

The spring season is a big one for athletes who specialize in track and field, women’s soccer, rugby, badminton, golf, and tennis, among others.

“… In the interest of student-athlete safety, [BCSS] has suspended all school sport-related activities including training, practices, jamborees, scrimmages, matches and similar inter and intra-school sport activities,” reads the memo. “Due to the speed at which things are changing, we will evaluate the situation moving forward, and determine the ability to safely offer a spring season of play at a later date.”

Jake Mouritzen, athletic director at GW Graham and athletic director for the Chilliwack School District, says it was the only move that could be made as the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve.

“It was expected,” Mouritzen said. “It’ll be interesting to see what they do at the college/university level because there’s talk of giving athletes another level of eligibility.

READ MORE: B.C. declares a state of emergency

READ MORE: Chilliwack mayor stands by ‘no confirmed cases’ statement

“At the high school and amateur sport levels it’s just going to be shut ‘er down.”

Sports being disrupted at this time of year include rugby and girls soccer.

An idea has been floated about bringing some sports back in June, but Mouritzen feels that’s very unlikely.

“My gut says it’s all done and we’re going to see a full shut down,” he said. “But I don’t think anyone knows.

“A lot of people have given an April 15 date (for making decisions), but I think that’s more an opportunity to breathe and see what happens.”

As far as impact on athletes, there’s concern that cancellations will impact recruiting. Sardis secondary’s senior girls soccer team has made a habit of sending players on to university programs.

Sardis soccer coach Richard Tagle says three graduating players have already signed with university programs: Breanne Weflen and Jo Gemmel at Trinity Western University and Melissa Palmer at the University of the Fraser Valley.

But without a spring season to impress next-level coaches, will other Grade 12 players miss an opportunity?

“I’ve had lots of contact with university coaches who are trying to do what they can with recruiting,” Mouritzen noted. “Unfortunately, for a lot of kids in Grade 12, it’s going to be based on their body of work up to this point.

“Universities will have to communicate with high school and community coaches, because I don’t see it coming back anytime soon.

“And again, in the bigger picture, there’s not much else we can do.”

Big picture, Mouritzen says lots of people use sports as an escape and a way to get through tough times.

“That’s a hard thing not being able to use sports as an escape, because there is no escape right now.”

“All we can do right now is stay hopeful and optimistic that we can get to a place where things start back up.”

Even in a dark time, Mouritzen was able to find a bit of humour though.

His GW Graham Grizzlies won a provincial basketball title a couple weeks ago, the last major sports event that took place before the COVID-19 crisis exploded.

“I think that means that we are world champions,” Mouritzen said with a laugh. “We are the last basketball championship that happened right?

“I am extremely grateful that we were able to get that in before everything shut down.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusHigh School Sports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alleged impaired driver crashes car into parked truck on Chilliwack’s Wellington Avenue

Police investigated the collision which took place shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday morning

Which riding do you live in — Chilliwack or Chilliwack-Kent?

Understanding one small and condensed riding vs. one large and sprawling riding

Police seek assistance locating missing Hope teen, last seen near Agassiz

RCMP say Jada Charlie-Carlson was last seen Monday in the 61000 block of Lougheed Highway

VIDEO: Take a drone tour of art from the Chilliwack Mural Festival

A local drone pilot has created a virtual tour of projects big and small in the downtown core

Former constituency assistant for Chilliwack MLA intends to plead guilty to fraud, breach of trust

John Martin fired Desmond Devnich for allegedly misappropriating thousands from constituency office

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Most Read