Spring Sports Cancelled Due to Virus

By Daniel Ramirez

COVID-19 outbreak caused College of Southern Nevada to move quickly to ensure the safety of its students by closing campuses and cancelling all school events that included the spring sports season.

The National Junior College Athletic Association announced on March 16, 2020 that it had decided to end all competition for the remainder of the academic year. For CSN’s spring sports teams this meant their seasons would be cut short.

At CSN the spring sports season included softball and baseball. Both teams were working hard when the cancellations came very suddenly. There were 26 baseball players and 18 softball players affected.

Head Baseball Coach Nick Garritano said, “Between that Thursday and Monday it was announced there would be a suspension of the season until further notice. We then got word that the campus was shutting down to go to remote learning. At that point in time, we knew it was over.”

Around the same time the softball team was halfway into a 10-hour trip to Colorado when Head Softball Coach Ashley Johnston was notified to turn around because the NJCAA was suspending all spring sports.

Both coaches expressed disappointment at the cancellations but understood that this was something bigger than sports.

When asked how she felt about the cancellations, softball player and CSN student Mckenzie Hamilton said, “I was personally heartbroken. It was just so upsetting because I had worked so hard, both with my team and on my own, and I was so excited to have a great season with some amazing girls.”

Fellow teammate Bailey Pepper said there was unfinished business with the team and its season. “You can tell nobody wanted to go home,” she said, when the team had to turn around during the trip.

Both coaches shared a feeling of remorse when asked how they felt the current season was going.

Coach Garritano stated, “We had the pieces to have an incredible season. We feel we had as good of a 1-2-3 punch as anyone in the Western United States. That is the toughest pill to swallow—knowing how good this team was and the possibilities were endless.”

As for the softball team, Coach Johnston stated, “We had a very talented group of athletes that we believe were hitting a peak in having a very successful spring season. It is always tough for spring sports as we have been working since August to prepare for the road ahead and to see it taken away was very tough.”

Director of Athletics and Recreation at CSN, Dexter Irvin, shared his disappointment. “All these players worked extremely hard on their skills to be successful and to see their seasons cut short is disappointing.”

Director Irvin added, “You can’t dwell on the last shot you missed or the last time you were up to bat. You have to look to the future and prepare for what is coming, which is currently what we at CSN are doing and has all of us very excited.”

Director Irvin had good news stating the NJCAA will extend players’ eligibility for an additional year due to this unfortunate event, which means players have the choice to return if they would like to: to play another season with no issues.

Coach Johnston responded, “We are blessed that the NJCAA has decided to give every spring sport participant his or her eligibility back for next season and we are hoping to be able to have another year with some of these sophomores.”

Both players Hamilton and Pepper want to prepare and come back next season.

Even though this season ended prematurely and left those involved feeling unfulfilled, the CSN teams do not want to dwell on the past. Instead they are choosing to work hard and come back to finish what they started.

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