The status of the state winter sports championships and the spring season throughout the commonwealth remains in limbo because of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The PIAA Board of Directors met via teleconference on Monday because of the closure of schools and the “stay at home” directives in 26 counties — including Westmoreland and Allegheny — by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. The PIAA board meeting held on Monday was previously postponed two weeks ago.
No action was taken during Monday’s meeting regarding the start of spring sports or the possible re-start of the winter championships. On Monday, Wolf announced all schools are to remain closed indefinitely and President Donald Trump extended social distancing guidelines through the end of April. The PIAA plans to continue to receive and assess information from Wolf’s office, the Department of Health and the Department of Education before making any decisions regarding the re-start of athletic activities throughout the state.
“I think we all realize that winter sports is over,” Greater Latrobe Athletic Director Mark Mears said. “I also believe with this crisis escalating and the governor shutting down schools indefinitely, we have to be honest that the spring sports window is closing.
“I feel horrible for the seniors and coaches, but we have to put lives and safety first. This is a tragic time and we are all doing our part.”
The PIAA Class 2A Swimming and Diving Championships officially remains on hold. Two Derry Area athletes, Ali Cowan and Jake Buhite, were set to compete in diving and the 100 breaststroke, respectively, while Ligonier Valley’s Brooke Roadman and Nick Roddy were also slated to take part in diving.
Derry Area athletic director Brett Miller said that the PIAA and WPIAL are in the same holding pattern as the rest of the country.
“We must wait until it’s safe to resume activities,” Miller said. “I hope our athletes, especially our seniors, get to experience their 2020 season. But based on further shelter in place orders and additional safety measures, it is becoming more difficult to believe we will see sports before the end of this season.
“With that said, the PIAA’s inaction this morning indicates they are holding out hope for the continuation of spring sports, which is a positive sign that they haven’t thrown in the towel just yet.”
The PIHL suspended the local high school hockey season on March 12, a directive that remains in effect. The Greater Latrobe hockey team was scheduled to play Baldwin in the PIHL Class AA Penguins Cup championship game at Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township.
The IceCats defeated Hempfield Area, 3-2, during the semifinals of the PIHL Class AA Penguins Cup playoffs one day before the league decided to postpone its end-of-season tournament.