Spring sports season officially cancelled

WIAA gave one last push to keep hope alive Monday night but to no avail

A year ago, the Woodland Beavers completed their second consecutive championship season, winning a Class 2A state softball title. 

On the same day a year ago, Woodland’s Tyler Flangan flew, Superman style, across the finish line to win the state title in the 2A 300 hurdles in the track and field championships.

Also on the same day, Faith Grisham of Columbia River won a state title in tennis.

Those are just a few of the highlights from last year, on what is always the busiest day of high school sports championships.

This year, the busiest day will not happen.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association even tried for a Hail Mary, if you will forgive the sports term, but to no avail.

The spring sports season is over, due to the pandemic.

When Jay Inslee, Washington’s governor, cancelled on-site education for the rest of the academic year on Monday, it also ended just about all hope of an abbreviated spring sports season.

A week ago, the WIAA announced that if school resumed by the first week of May, there would still be a possibility of holding spring sports championships.

That will not happen now.

Still, the WIAA gave it one last shot. 

The WIAA announced around 5 p.m. Monday that while on-site schooling was done for the rest of the school year, the state’s stay-at-home order could still be lifted after May 4. If that were to be the case, the WIAA wondered, could there still be a sports season?

The answer came back: No. 

The WIAA made another announcement around 6:15 p.m. Monday:

“The WIAA has received clarification that the order issued by Gov. Inslee on Monday includes the cancellation of all in-person extracurricular athletics and activities through the end of the school year,” the WIAA noted in a press release.

That includes all practices, regular-season games, and the postseason.

“The WIAA Executive Board and the WIAA staff feel for those students around the state that have had their seasons or careers cut short,” the release stated. “This terrible disease has not only prevented students from creating lifelong memories through competition, it has limited the valuable lessons gained through participation in education-based athletics and activities.”

Every year, state titles are crowned on the same day in baseball, softball, boys soccer, boys and girls track and field, and boys and girls tennis. Earlier in that week, the boys and girls golf championships are decided.

For 2020, the record books will remain empty.

About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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