What a dirty trick

The coronavirus pandemic is playing a dirty trick on sports fans.  

No sooner had the virus appeared in the state than Gov. Kay Ivey shut down the state’s schools, ordered non-essential businesses to shutter their doors and mandated stay-at-home and social distancing policies for its citizens.  

What this did was send students home to complete the 2019-2020 school year via online distance learning. Springs sports – softball, baseball and track – were cancelled, leaving seniors without an opportunity to compete for a state championship in their final seasons. 

This was especially disappointing to at least four high schools in Morgan County. Falkville’s softball team was riding a 12-2 record and a No. 3 ranking in Class 1A. The school’s baseball team also had a winning record, and the track team was expected to compete for another Class 1A title. Danville’s softball team was ranked in the top 10 in Class 4A, while Hartselle’s softball and baseball teams were ranked in the top 10 in Class 6A. 

Following quickly were cancellations of remaining games in the National Hockey League and National Basketball League and delays in the opening of the National and American Basketball Leagues.  

Collegiate basketball was cancelled the week before the start of the NCAA National Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. 

Since then, sports fans have had to settle for reruns of SEC games from 2019-2020 season as sports entertainment. It’s still anybody’s guess whether there will be SEC football games in 2020.  

Local sports events are also falling by the wayside. Hartselle Mayor Randy Garrison last week announced that recreational boys’ and girls summer softball and baseball leagues have been canceled following discussions with Parks & Recreation officials. The opening of the city’s swimming facility is also a question mark; it normally opens Memorial Day weekend. 

Whatever the outcome, it’s obvious fans participation in local sporting events is going to change. Will it be masks, tests or social distancing?  

What a dirty trick! 

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