MARCH 12, 2020 - COLUMBUS
The state tournament dreams of Covington’s Cael Vanderhorst and Kellan Anderson - as well as the hundreds of other state qualifying wrestlers - has been put on hold for the time being due to the rampant Coronavirus outbreak.
The announcement was made in a press conference at approximately 1:00pm on Thursday by OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass.
“Our decision today has been to postpone all remaining post-season tournaments indefinitely,” said Snodgrass. “This decision is based on so many developing situations in the last eight hours.”
Over the past eight hours the Coronavirus has forced the NBA and NHL to suspend their seasons until further notice and the cancellations of many of the collegiate conference championships. Plus, Major League Baseball is considering suspending Spring Training until further notice.
These developments left the OHSAA no other choice but to postpone the remainder of the winter sports tournaments due to the large amount of people who would be susceptible to spreading the virus.
“From the onset of this (Coronavirus) in the United States - we are taking the advice of the CDC , as well as the Ohio Department of Health,” Snodgrass said. “Everything right now points to the spread of this increases tremendously in mass gatherings. And those mass gatherings - we have many of those (state tournaments) across the state right now. We have, I believe, six-hundred-thirty wrestlers alone - and that’s just the participants - in our state wrestling tournament. So, we (the OHSAA) really have to make the wise decision - as tough as it is - to postpone indefinitely.”
It’s crushing news for the kids who have put in so much time in reaching the highest level of high school athletics, but is the risk of catching and passing on the Coronavirus worth the reward of a possible state medal? The answer to that question is a tough one, but the OHSAA had to follow the advise of the medical professionals and look out for the safety of the majority.
“And, as much as we want this opportunity for our kids - and our schools and our communities - we HAVE to look at the safety aspect that these mass gatherings create.” Snodgrass said.
As of now there has been no mention of rescheduled dates or if the state tournaments will be cancelled.
“To say that they (the state tournaments) are cancelled, I don’t want to say that yet,” said Snodgrass. We know that option is on the table, but we also don’t want to go that forward with it yet.”
Hopefully things work out to where the kids can continue their quest for state glory.