ALBEMARLE –– Despite the commencement of spring sports just a few weeks ago, the NCHSAA’s three-week moratorium of all statewide high school athletics due to the coronavirus pandemic has put an unexpected pause on the season.
Stanly County’s high school baseball and softball teams have only completed a handful of games each, but due to the new ruling, all interscholastic athletics — including practices and on-site training — are suspended until April 6 (at a minimum) to limit the spread and scope of the coronavirus.
Also, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association board of directors made the choice this past Thursday to postpone the 2020 boys’ and girls’ basketball state championships indefinitely.
Albemarle baseball head coach Corey Dick told SCJ that his players have been sent home with an idea of what they need to do to stay safe but also continue practicing at home. Dick said that he hopes things can go back to normal in the coming weeks and “pick up what’s left of the season and school.”
Though most teams have only played four to five games so far, the Yadkin Valley Conference and Rocky River Conference were beginning to take shape when it comes to where the Stanly teams stand amidst the competition.
In the YVC baseball standings, North Stanly (4-1, 2-0) and South Stanly (3-1, 3-0) are sitting at the top at the pack with undefeated records in conference play. Albemarle (0-4, 0-3) and Gray Stone (who has yet to field a team this season) are on the other side of the spectrum.
The YVC softball standings currently have South Stanly (3-1, 3-0) as the frontrunner with North Stanly (2-2, 2-0) not too far behind – Albemarle (0-3, 0-3) and Gray Stone (0-1, 0-1) are at the bottom of the pack thus far.
West Stanly baseball (1-2, 1-0) and softball (3-0) are both hoping to have success once again in the RRC.
As it stands, the West softball team is ranked No. 1 in North Carolina and in the 2A class. Last week, the Colts defeated South’s softball team, who came into the game as the No. 3 team in the 1A class.
In what to looks to be a similar timeframe, the City of Albemarle Parks & Recreation Department has suspended all programs and events of 100 or more people, athletic league activities and facility rentals at Niven Center and Waddell Center through April 6.
This action was taken following recommendations from the North Carolina Governor’s Office, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina Department of Public Health and the initial decision by NCHSAA.