PUSD, HUSD athletics suspended 2 weeks due to coronavirus outbreak
Chino Valley School District to make decision Sunday, says assistant AD
PRESCOTT VALLEY — In a joint effort, Prescott Unified School District superintendent Joe Howard and Humboldt Unified School District superintendent Dan Streeter announced on Saturday that both districts will suspend all school activates, including athletics, for the next two weeks due the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision to shut down the districts was made to “to protect the safety and well-being of students and staff” because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) threats to the community. Since spring break lasted from March 9-13, students, staff and faculty will effectively get an additional two weeks off from March 16-27.
Streeter made the announcement on the HUSD website in a news release, which read that “all athletic and fine arts events are cancelled until further notice.” Howard also made the announcement in a news release on the PUSD website, which read that “all after school clubs and athletics are canceled until further notice.”
The suspension will affect all spring sports, including baseball, softball, boys volleyball, boys tennis, girls tennis and track & field.
Both Streeter and Howard said their governing boards are aware and support these decisions. Streeter’s news release states that Humboldt district leadership will be meeting Monday morning to further define additional details for HUSD families and staff.
Prescott athletics director Missy Townsend said PUSD most likely won’t be providing any more information until Monday, but she does anticipate they will meet again very soon. Townsend added that the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) is also set to meet Monday to discuss more on the issue.
“It’s so up in the air right now. I know I’ve got a lot coaches and a lot of athletes that are all really, really sad because they had really high hopes, and they’re hoping that’s not gone now,” Townsend said. “So we’ll see I guess. Monday should bring more information though.”
Chino Valley Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Cindy Daniels said they will make the decision on whether or not to close schools by midday Sunday, March 15, adding that the health and safety of staff and students is of top priority.
Across the board, the decision to suspend all school-related activities for the next couple of weeks didn’t sit well with some coaches from Prescott and Bradshaw Mountain. “Disappointment” was the mutual feeling among most of them.
“I’m not happy,” said Prescott track & field head coach Steve Reynolds, whose girls team was poised to have a stellar season. “The only thing I’m concerned with is that the girls have a really good chance of winning state and we can only hope the season will resume in a couple weeks.”
Prescott baseball head coach Kent Winslow added that he also is disappointed but is willing to remain patient for whatever is to come next.
“Whether you’re playing solidly or not, any time a couple weeks of your season gets canceled, it’s not the most ideal but it’s a little bit of different circumstances. It’s never happened since I’ve started school and teaching, so that’s about 60 years,” Winslow said. “You just do what you do and we’ll make it work if they allow us to start playing before the school year is out. If not, It’s tough for the seniors who didn’t get to play their senior year but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
Bradshaw Mountain softball head coach Sharon Haese was equally disappointed with the suspension but understands that this might be the right call by the district for the sake of the student-athletes.
“It is isn’t a surprise to me, at all,” Haese said. “I think our district made the best decision based on keeping kids and staff safe. Is it ideal as far as sports go and being a coach? Obviously not, but if it means keeping kids safe, then we have to do what we have to do.”
For more information on general school-related activities, visit dcourier.com/news/2020/mar/14/public-school-districts-prescott-pv-close-2-weeks/ or visit the PUSD and HUSD websites for updates.
Aaron Valdez is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter at @Valaaron_94. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2031.
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