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.
If there is a volleyball season this spring, Bethlehem Catholic would certainly like to see what they can do this year. The Hawks have a new coach in Tim Sledz, but have familiar faces across the board, as they return all their starters from a team that made a run to the state quarterfinals last year.
“Ten seniors lead a very experienced team, which knows that in order to put together a successful season takes dedication to practice and commitment to a team,” said Sledz. “There are only so many touches to go around but the main focus has been on team success.”
I could make a case for my favorite sports season being fall, winter, spring, or summer, but I was in the middle of favoring winter when I watched what was left of that season crumble before my eyes on March 12.
What was left were Freedom’s girls’ basketball, Bethlehem Catholic girls’ basketball, Liberty swimming, Moravian Academy diving, and Bethlehem Catholic diving, all in the middle of PIAA state tournaments and meets.
Liberty’s softball team was at their practice field, having a laid back whiffle ball game when they were informed that the season they were looking forward to was being postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak with no resume date given.
“I am brokenhearted,” said Liberty coach Sam Carrodo. “Thirteen out of 15 of my players are seniors.”
Senior Paige Zigmund will return to the pitcher’s circle with Kat Borda doing the catching.
“I hadn’t seen Paige throw that hard and that good as she was throwing this year,” Carrodo said. “She is doing really, really well.”
“A little anxious,” is how Bethlehem Catholic softball coach Rich Mazza and the Hawks have been feeling since receiving the news that “everything is off” hours before their scrimmage was to be played against Pen Argyl on March 12.
The Allentown Diocese closed all its schools early that day to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, which meant no sports practices, matches, and scrimmages for Becahi student athletes. The shutdown was then extended to the state of Pennsylvania by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Freedom’s boys’ tennis team was in the middle of a match at Pocono Mountain East on March 13 when the Patriots became aware that the season was being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As each passing day goes, the news surrounding the worldwide coronavirus pandemic seems to only get worse.
For the PIAA and District 11, the spring sports season appears to be at 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 for direction from those at the top of the food chain.
Bethlehem Catholic’s second round of PIAA State Class 4A girls’ basketball playoffs ended in a 70-49 victory over Gwynedd Mercy Academy last Tuesday at the Geigle Complex at Reading Senior High School, two days before the tournament was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Some states canceled it, and some states are playing down south,” said Becahi coach Jose Medina. “It’s a fluid situation. New Jersey canceled, and that’s our next door neighbor. We remain optimistic but understand the severity of the situation, and safety prevails.”
Liberty’s tennis team opened its season by winning three straight matches last week, defeating Whitehall, 6-1, Nazareth, 6-1, and Emmaus, 4-2.
In singles play against the Zephyrs on Mar. 9, Louis Gruber won his match, 6-2, 6-1, as did David Lynn, 6-0, 6-0, and Shayaan Farhad, 6-0, 6-0.
All of Liberty’s doubles pairs won their matches 6-0, 6-0: Sid Tekumalla and Gavin Evans-Gartley, Matt Bilger and Tyler Markovich, and Will Lotto and Jiaming Wang.
They’re known as the harbingers of spring and I spotted four of them last week.
Yes, the American Robin has returned to the Lehigh Valley, although some do stay in the area year-round.
It’s been said robins return from their overwintering spots in Mexico and southern areas when daytime temperatures average around 37 degrees. And we’ve had that, and then some.