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FHSAA cancels spring sports

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For the first time in more than 100 years, the Florida High School Athletic Association will not hold season-ending tournaments or meets to crown a state champion in any spring sport. 

The state’s governing body for high school sports announced Monday that spring sports (baseball, boys volleyball, boys weightlifting, flag football, lacrosse, softball, tennis and track and field and water polo) were officially cancelled in a press release initially released to board members. 

The decision comes two days after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that schools statewide should remain closed through the spring semester. Schools are still conducting classes through a virtual setting.

“With the evolving threat of the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19), we must ensure that we do not contribute to the spread of this illness,” the release said. “We are deeply saddened for our student-athletes who have seen their seasons and/or high school careers end so abruptly. Our Association knows the impact and role high school athletics play in the lives of so many and will continue to work towards the betterment of high school sports. We know this is a trying time, but the health and safety of all is of utmost importance to this association.”

The FHSAA also said in the release that no additional eligibility would be granted for spring athletes, following Florida Department of Education guidelines and a review of Florida statutes and FHSAA bylaws. 

Last month, the FHSAA postponed all games, meets and tournaments through May 3 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The organization, however, did not cancel spring sports at that time.

In a March 31 press release, the FHSAA said its staff was “actively working on creative solutions for the continuance of spring sports through June 30,” provided schools return to a classroom setting and sports are given the green-light by the Florida Department of Education to resume.

Athletic directors from around the stare were holding weekly meetings with FHSAA officials to discuss the potential obstacles of extending the season into the summer such as expired physicals, lack of officials and the availability of stadiums for state tournaments and meets.

None of that mattered after the governor made his decision this past weekend.  

Area teams were already anticipating the move with many sharing posts on social media that paid homage to their players this past weekend. Coaches started collecting uniforms from their players Monday morning before the announcement was even made.  

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Monday sports schedule

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What to watch

Baseball

Keswick Christian (14-3) at Seffner Christian (14-4), 4:30

All three of Keswick Christian’s losses have come by a run against public schools in higher classifications. Seffner Christian has not lost to a Hillsborough or Pinellas County school this season. 

Softball

Canterbury (15-9) at East Lake (15-6), 7

The Crusaders had won six straight to vault to the top of the Class 2A state rankings. The Eagles, ranked 10th in 6A, have averaged 16 runs in each of their last two wins.  

The schedules

Baseball

Gulf Coast HEAT at Foundation Christian, 4

Pinellas Park at St. Petersburg, 4

Keswick Christian at Seffner Christian, 4:30

Foundation Academy at Hernando Christian, 4:30

Riverview at Plant, 7

Seminole at East Lake, 7

Spoto at Brandon, 7

Zephyrhills at Pasco, 7

Steinbrenner at Jefferson, 7

Nature Coast at Bishop McLaughlin, 7

Seven Rivers Christian at Weeki Wachee, 7

Northeast at Sickles, 7

Hollins at Osceola, 7

Blake at Jesuit, 7

Tarpon Springs at Fivay, 7

Softball

Shorecrest at Cambridge, 3:30

Lakeland Santa fe at Foundation Christian, 4

Seven Rivers Christian at Seffner Christian, 4:30

Academy at the Lakes at Hernando Christian, 4:30

Canterbury at East Lake, 6

Clearwater Central Catholic at Academy of the Holy Names, 6

Largo at Tarpon Springs, 7

Strawberry Crest at Wesley Chapel, 7

Riverview at Plant, 7

Steinbrenner at Jefferson, 7

Spoto at Brandon, 7

Central at Citrus, 7

Tampa Catholic at Countryside, 7

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Baseball

Saturday sports schedule

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What to watch

Berkeley Prep (18-3) at Jesuit (20-1), 1

Both teams are ranked among the top seven in the state in their respective classifications by MaxPreps (the Buccaneers are No. 7 in 3A and the Tigers are No. 1 in 5A). 

The schedules

Baseball

Shorecrest at Canterbury, 10

Jefferson at Newsome, 10

Steinbrenner at Durant, 10

Strawberry Crest at Hillsborough, 11

Clearwater at IMG Royal, 12

Freedom at King, 1

Lennard at Leto, 1

Mitchell at IMG Gray, 1

Berkeley Prep at Jesuit, 1

Softball

Naples Longshore Tournament

Calvary Christian vs. Immokalee, 10:30

Calvary Christian vs. Naples Barron Collier, 12:30

Doral Academy vs. Sickles, 12:30

Other games

Middleton at Durant, 10

Spoto at Tampa Bay Tech, 10

Wesley Chapel at Academy of the Holy Names, 12

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Baseball

Friday sports schedule

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What to watch

Baseball

Calvary Christian (17-3) at Jesuit (19-1), 7

One of the top matchups of the season. Both teams are ranked among the top four in their respective classification (the Warriors are No. 4 in 3A and the Tigers are No. 1 in 5A) and the top 20 overall in the state by MaxPreps.  

Mitchell (16-5) at Osceola (16-4), 7

Both teams are ranked among the top 10 in the state in their respective classification by MaxPreps (the Mustangs are No. 10 in 6A and the Warriors No. 8 in 5A).

The schedules

Baseball

Lakeland Victory Christian at Zephyrhills Christian, 4

Bayshore Christian at Foundation Christian, 4

East Lake at Palm Harbor University, 4

Hollins at St. Petersburg, 4

Tampa Prep at Indian Rocks Christian, 6

Berkeley Prep at Tampa Catholic, 6:30

Central at Citrus, 7

IMG White at Wiregrass Ranch, 7

Largo at Hudson, 7

Northeast at Gibbs, 7

Wesley Chapel at Fivay, 7

Bloomingdale at Plant, 7

Land O’ Lakes at Sunlake, 7

Bishop McLaughlin at Inspiration Academy, 7

Lakewood at Gulf, 7

Hernando Christian at Anclote, 7

Chamberlain at Lennard, 7

Calvary Christian at Jesuit, 7

Mitchell at Osceola, 7

Weeki Wachee at Springstead, 7

Seminole at Clearwater Central Catholic, 7

Softball

Naples Longshore Tournament

Naples Lely vs. Sickles, 3:30

Calvary Christian vs. North Fort Myers, 3:30

Other games

Grace Christian at Bishop McLaughlin, 4

Canterbury at Palm Harbor University, 4

Foundation at Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic, 4:30

Clearwater Central Catholic at Hollins, 6

Academy at the Lakes at Academy of the Holy Names, 6

Sunlake at Berkeley Prep, 6

Indian Rocks Christian at Tampa Catholic, 6

Anclote at Zephyrhills, 7

Strawberry Crest at Middleton, 7

Hernando at Lecanto, 7

Springstead at Central, 7

Plant City at Lakeland George Jenkins, 7

Bloomingdale at Plant, 7

Chamberlain at Lennard, 7

Gibbs at Osceola, 7

Dunedin at Northeast, 7

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