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MHSAA cancels remainder of 2019-20 seasons

ALPENA — The Michigan High School Athletic Association has canceled all sports for the rest of the academic year, as expected after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday said students will not return to their school buildings at least until fall to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

It’s the first year since 1943 that MHSAA finals have not been played in multiple sports. World War II was the cause then.

Athletics already were on hold after Whitmer last month issued a temporary school closure that she extended on Thursday.

The MHSAA’s Executive Committee made the decision Friday to official scrap the remainder of the winter and all of the spring sports season.

Championships won before the school closures will stand, but no additional champions will be crowned for the 2019-20 seasons, MHSAA said in a press release. Plans for the fall season will be developed in the coming days.

“We are heartbroken to not be able to provide these opportunities for Michigan’s student-athletes, and especially seniors,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said in a statement posted on the sports group’s website Friday. “We continue to hear from dozens asking us to hold out hope. But safety always must come first, and Governor Whitmer is making courageous decisions to safeguard the people of our state. We understand as much as anyone how much school sports mean to athletes and their communities. We had ideas and hopes for finishing Winter and Spring and helping bring some sort of normalcy after this long break. But this is the correct decision, and we will play our part in bringing schools and communities together again when the time is right.”

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