Reaching the PIAA Championships – or states as they’re often called – in any sport is always special for young student-athletes. Young athletes compete for medals that can give a lifetime of memories. For seniors, it’s a final exclamation point to their high school athletic careers. The venues are bigger, and the spotlight is brighter.
The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association held a board of directors meeting this week via teleconference. The meeting was a regularly-scheduled board meeting and was not held in response to the coronavirus school closure.
Last week, on March 23, after Governor Tom Wolf extended the school closure to a third week, the PIAA announced that there was no date set to resume the spring sports season and remainder of the winter postseason.
Monday Wolf announced that schools across the state will remain closed indefinitely.
Last May the Emmaus boys lacrosse team found itself back where it had been for a majority of the last decade.
After a four-year hiatus, the Green Hornets were able to hoist a district championship trophy. They went through an undefeated Parkland to win the District 11 Class 3A title, the program’s first since 2015.
The win meant a lot to Emmaus, handing the two-time defending district champ Trojans their first loss of the year.
Last season, the Emmaus girls lacrosse team fell just one goal shy of earning a spot in the District 11 Class 3A Tournament. A 12-11 loss to Southern Lehigh in the regular season finale kept the Green Hornets from the playoffs after needing to win three of their last five games of the regular season.
Entering a 2020 season that’s been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Emmaus hopes to improve on last year’s 8-10 record if and when the spring sports season gets underway.
Before last season, the Emmaus High School boys volleyball team had won two straight District 11 Class 3A championships and seemed like one of the favorites for the 2019 title. But an injury and a midseason departure saw the Hornets lose two key players toward the end of last season, derailing any plans at winning a third consecutive title
The Hornets fell to Freedom in the district quarterfinal round last spring.
Whether there will be a 2020 Emmaus High School girls track and field season is anyone’s guess. What is not debatable is coach Kami Reinhard supports Gov. Wolf’s mandate requiring Pennsylvania public schools to close through March 30.
“I absolutely agree with the measures being taken to lessen the severity and spread of COVID-19,” the coach said during a recent interview. “Working in health care, this is a first, having school closures as part of the action plan.”
The Emmaus boys track and field season is uncertain. Gov. Wolf’s order to close public schools for three weeks to combat coronavirus leaves the season in limbo.
When will the season start? What kind of season will it be? Will there even be a season?
has had to make many adjustments to the Green Hornets’ training schedule and will need to make more if the hiatus lasts beyond the initial two-week school closure.
With each passing day, news surrounding the worldwide coronavirus pandemic seems to only get worse.
For the PIAA and District 11, the spring sports season appears to be in jeopardy more and more each day. With news of a 10-day shutdown of the school system across the state coming last Friday, everyone in the sports world is playing the waiting game.
“Hopefully, this is a once in a lifetime thing,” said Emmaus swimming coach after Thursday night’s finals of the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championship were canceled suddenly.
The cancellation came as a result of fears that large groups, such as the one made up of swimmers and fans at Bucknell University, would increase the spread of the coronavirus and was announced during the girls diving competition. The cancellation also erased all of the competition among 2A schools, which was set for Friday and Saturday.
The Emmaus swimming and diving teams headed to Bucknell University last week with visions of two full days of competition against the top swimmers and teams in the state. Instead, they got one-and-three-quarter days of competition and left for home somewhat disappointed that the Class 3A finals scheduled for Thursday night were canceled by concerns over the potential spread of the coronavirus.
On the first day of competition, the highlight was senior Brendan McCourt, who wrapped up his high school diving career with a second straight state championship.