ALBEMARLE –– The North Carolina High School Athletic Association extended the ongoing sports suspension to May 18 on Monday in response to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order to push school closings to May 15.
“The NCHSAA Board of Directors and staff will use the next few weeks to weigh our future decisions based on the new directions given by Governor Cooper, other government leaders, and organizations charged with public health and safety during this unprecedented time,” NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said in a statement.
On March 12, all interscholastic athletics — including practices and on-site training — were suspended until April 6 to limit the spread and scope of the coronavirus.
“Such decisions will include the possible resumption of spring sports’ competition and the possibility of holding the state basketball championships,” Tucker’s statement continued. “While we remain hopeful that we will be able to resume competition, particularly for our senior student-athletes, we also recognize the need to protect the health and safety of our students, coaches and the communities we serve.”
This past Friday, South Stanly basketball head coach Sean Whitley — who also serves as Stanly County’s assistant athletic director — penned an open letter to senior athletes at his school and all across the district.
“As quickly as spring sports began, they’ve come to an abrupt halt. During these difficult times for our nation, and the world as a whole, I didn’t want your accomplishments and contributions to go unnoticed,” Whitley’s letter began. “I remember many specific events from my senior year as an athlete and I am truly sorry that many of you may not have the opportunity to add more memories to your high school athletic careers.”
“As student-athletes, you are constantly finding ways to overcome obstacles. You handle pressure in the classroom, on the game field and at home each day,” Whitley wrote. “That has prepared you to deal with the difficult times that are to come. I have no doubt that the future holds great things for each of you. I sincerely hope that our sports seasons will resume. But in case they do not, I wanted to say the following: Thank you for your dedication to our program over the last four years.”