Vermont becomes the fifth New England state to cancel its high school spring sports season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualhunt.com)
By Matt Noonan
Earlier this month, the Vermont Principals Association seemed hopeful they could provide their high school student-athletes with a spring sports season. But as of Thursday morning, the VPA announced they have canceled the season due to its state’s “Stay Home Stay Safe” order.
As noted in a press release on the VPA website, both the organization and its Activities Standards Committee delayed their announcement regarding spring sports with “hopes that some version of a season could be salvaged, but now it is too close to the end of the school year for that to occur.”
Vermont becomes the fifth New England state to cancel its high school sports seasons after Maine and New Hampshire called off their respective seasons earlier this month. Massachusetts and Rhode Island canceled their high school spring seasons last week, while Connecticut announced it would not have a state tournament.
As of this morning, Connecticut remains the only New England state likely to have a high school spring season, but it would only occur if schools were to reopen before the current academic years expires. If Connecticut were to have a high school spring sports season, it would only occur in June.
Both states are abiding by the advice of Governors Charlie Baker and Gina Raimondo, who have ordered both Massachusetts and Rhode Island to conclude their respective academic schools years online, not in-person.
Connecticut has not canceled its spring sports season, but the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) announced yesterday they will “not run any spring state championship events.” The CIAC could, however, have a regular-season in June, but that would only occur if schools reopen. Connecticut is not scheduled to reopen until May 20.
The Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) will make an announcement regarding its spring sports season on Thursday, April 30.
Maine and New Hampshire announced the cancelations of its states’ spring sports season earlier this month.
With yesterday’s announcement by Governor Charlie Baker regarding schools remaining online (and remote) for the remainder of the school year due to COVID-19, it seems most likely that a spring high school sports season will not occur. But an official announcement has not yet been made by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) as of late this morning.
Hours after Baker’s announcement of both private and public schools remaining closed for the remainder of the academic school year, the MIAA tweeted the following yesterday afternoon: “Difficult news received from Governor Baker today. A formal MIAA BOD statement regarding the status of 2020 spring sports will be provided by weeks end.”
While high school athletic directors, coaches, and student-athletes, as well as fans, eagerly await an official announcement from the MIAA, it seems most likely that Massachusetts will become the third New England state to cancel its spring sports season like Maine and New Hampshire did earlier this month.
Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont have not canceled its spring high school sports seasons, but perhaps yesterday’s news by Baker could result in more cancelations across the region, along with schools not being open until possibly next fall.
For the second week in a row, a New England state has announced that their respective high school spring sports season will be canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). And that state was New Hampshire, which made the announcement one week after the Maine Principals Association (MPA) shared the bittersweet news about their spring sports season being canceled, as well.
Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont have not canceled their respective spring seasons – all four states seem hopeful and optimistic that they could provide their student-athletes with some competition, pending their state’s stay-at-home advisory or order is lifted sooner rather than later.
Connecticut is not scheduled to resume in-person classes until May 20th – the announcement came the same day Maine shared they would be canceling their spring sports seasons – while Rhode Island recently extended its stay-at-home order until Friday, May 8th.
It was an exciting weekend for a few New England high school lacrosse teams that captured their respective division or class championships.
Here is a recap with some links of what you missed from this past weekend’s finales in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont, as well as what occurred earlier this month when Rhode Island crowned six state champions.
Connecticut Boy’s Lacrosse
In Class L, theDarien Blue Wave cruised past 19th seed Wilton, 13-3, to erase memories of last year’s one-goal setback to Ridgefield. The win provided the Blue Wave with its fourth Class L title since 2015. Darien led Wilton, 9-2, at the break, thanks to an impressive half field goal that kept momentum on the Blue Waves’ side.
In Class M, New Fairfield cruised by Weston, 18-2, on Saturday after handling East Lyme (19-4), Daniel Hand (18-5) and Guilford (17-7) in the first three rounds of the postseason. The victory provided New Fairfield with its second-straight Class M championship as they beat Hand last June, 13-11.
In Class L, the Darien girl’s lacrosse team capped its 2019 campaign with a 12-6 win over New Canaan. The win provided the Blue Wave with its sixth title since 2013. Additionally, the victory erased memories of last year’s tournament run, which saw New Canaan edge Darien, 12-11, in the semifinals before beating Ridgefield, 19-7.
In Division I, Pinkerton Academy scored its second-straight two-goal championship win over Bishop Guertin this past Saturday at Bill Ball Stadium. The Cardinals of Bishop Guertin defeated the Astros earlier this season when the two teams met in mid-April. After losing to Hingham in mid-May, the Astros returned to the win column to finish their 2019 campaign on a 10-game winning streak.
In Division II, Derryfield finished its 2019 campaign with some hardware by defeating Winnacunnet, 9-1. The two teams met earlier this season with the Cougars claiming a hard-fought 9-8 win. Derryfield lost just once this season but finished its season on a seven-game winning streak.
In Division III, Hopkinton capped its season with a 15-5 championship over top-seed Pelham. The Hawks fell to Pelham earlier this season by a score of 9-5. Hopkinton would rebound, though, finishing their regular season slate on a five-game winning streak.
New Hampshire Girl’s Lacrosse
In Division I, the third-seed Bishop Guertin outlasted Pinkerton, 12-11, to claim their second-straight championship (BG needed overtime to beat Bedford last June). Prior to edging the Astros, the Cardinals beat both Bedford (10-9) and Merrimack (19-6).
In Division II, Portsmouth, the top seed in this year’s tournament, defeated Winnacunnet, 10-5, to claim its third-straight championship. The win was also Portsmouth’s second victory against Winnacunnet in the title round in three seasons.
In Division III, Hopkinton celebrated its first-ever championship in program history with a 12-11 win over Derryfield. The win erased memories of last season, which saw Hopkinton fall to Laconia, 10-6.
Rhode Island Boy’s Lacrosse (Championships occurred earlier this month)
In Division I, top-seed La Salle finished its season with a 7-6 championship win over Moses Brown, which entered the postseason as the second seed. Prior to beating Moses Brown, La Salle knocked-off Bishop Hendricken, 17-7, in the semifinals.
In Division II, second-seed South Kingstown needed to score a trio of wins, including a title round victory over top-seed Portsmouth to secure a 12-10 championship win. Curtis Rasmussen highlighted his team’s win with 17 saves, while Max Willette added seven points on five goals and two assists. The championship victory was the first for SK.
In Division III, fourth-seed Westerly outlasted second-seed Narragansett, 8-7, to cap its season with a 16-3 record. Prior to beating Narragansett, the Bulldogs scored wins over PCD/SRA Co-op (15-3) and Burrillville (11-10).
Rhode Island Girl’s Lacrosse (Championships occurred earlier this month)
In Division II, third-seed Middletown defeated top-seed Westerly, 15-11. Isabella Cecchi and Regan McEnroe were one of five Islanders to locate the back of their opponents’ net. Prior to beating Westerly, Middletown scored wins over Portsmouth(9-8) and Chariho (19-9).