JOHNSON CITY, NY – It’s now day two of a sportless country after the threat of the coronavirus shut down every major sports league and tournament at the professional, collegiate, and high school levels.
While all winter and spring NCAA seasons and championships have been cancelled, other professional leagues have postponed or suspended play.
That is also true with local high schools and the NYSPHSAA winter championships.
The Johnson City boy’s basketball team was the final Section IV squad to compete before the shut down occurred.
The Wildcats beat New Paltz 76-70 in the subregional round, giving the program it’s first-ever state tournament victory.
Then, less than 24 hours later, the team was informed that tournament play had been suspended.
“Our athletic director came in. We sat everybody down, and we had a discussion as to what was going on, but more importantly, why it was going on. The severity of the situation is what we really tried to convey to our players to help them wrap their brains around it a little bit easier. It was a huge letdown. But, at the same time, we certainly understand what our country is facing right now,” said Head Coach Bill Spalik.
Coach Spalik and his staff have a difficult task ahead of them as they need to try to maintain the status quo and keep some sort of normalcy in an unprecedented time.
Senior Sean Moran says he and his teammates are up to the challenge though.
“That’s the tough thing about it is we can play in two weeks or we can play in two months, you never really know. We just have to prepare every day like we’re going out for a regional championship and a state championship. So, that’s going to be the tough thing, I think, in the following weeks and following months. But, we’ll just have to stay focused and keep preparing,” Moran says.
J.C. is currently set to meet Rye of Section I once the postponement is lifted.
With a win, the Wildcats would capture their first regional championship.
Let’s hope they have that opportunity.