It's official. There will be no spring sports for high schools across the state.

After Gov. Tim Walz's executive order today to keep schools closed for the rest of the academic year, the Minnesota State High School League followed with its own directive. 

The league declared effective immediately that "all activities and athletics that occur during the spring season have been cancelled. .... The decision of the league is aligned with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Minnesota Department of Health and is in support of practices that focus on community health and safety."

That's tough news for spring teams that have been preparing for their season since mid-March. It's also an abrupt end to the athletic careers of all the seniors across the state.

Prior Lake baseball Coach Al Iversen tweeted with a "heavy heart" to his team that the season has ended: "Though many saw it coming, it doesn’t make it hurt any less. Our hearts break for everyone, particularly the seniors. We are in this together and are thinking about you all."

League activities and athletics for the spring have been suspended since March 15, the same day that girls state basketball tournament ended with still state title games left to play in two classes (4A and 3A), while the boys basketball season ended with the eight section titles still to be played.

League Executive Director Erich Martens said in a league in a press release that this was decision that the League hoped it wouldn't have to make.

“Our activities and athletics offer so much to so many students and their school communities, and we thank all who work to provide these amazing opportunities for students," he said in the release. "We also value the incredible benefits of strong and supportive connections between students and their coaches and advisors, and our hope is that these will continue even during this time when they are not able to participate or meet face to face." 

There was hope the spring season could resume May 4. That was day that students would potentially go back to school.

“I can understand how heartbreaking the cancellation of the spring sports and activities season is for our students,” said board member Troy Stein, the activities director at Edina High School. “Many of our students and families spend the entire year preparing for their season. Sports and activities are about so much more than the competitions and performances. They provide students with a sense of accomplishment, purpose and belonging. They also provide the community an opportunity to gather and rally around their school. Without that, I think it is fair to say we all feel a sense of loss.”

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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