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Long Island officials cancel spring sports

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It’s game over for public high school spring sports on Long Island for 2020.

Any hopes for even a modified season were dashed Tuesday afternoon when health and safety concerns led athletic administrators and school superintendents in Nassau and Suffolk counties to announced the cancelation of the spring sports season.

The Section VIII athletics conference governs Nassau County, and Section XI, Suffolk County.

“For the safety for our student athletes, Section VIII has made the difficult decision to cancel spring sports for our high schools and middle schools.” Nassau County Executive Director Pat Pizzarelli said. “Long Island is one of the areas most affected by this terrible pandemic, so both section VIII and Section XI have made this very difficult decision.”

Administrators in both counties met over the past 24 hours and thought it was important to react sooner as opposed to later. Even if public school buildings reopen, no sporting events will be held. Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended New York state’s stay-at-home policies through May 15, meaning that school buildings will be closed until at least that date.

“It’s very sad for the seniors, but we are dealing with life and death,” Pizzarelli said. “We have to safeguard our students and communities. We waited as long as we possibly could to make this heartbreaking decision.”

Nassau County’s Athletic Council, which includes superintendents, principals and officials, met Monday night and was unanimous in its decision. Athletic directors met on Tuesday and agreed.

“The cancelation of the spring sports season is unfortunate, and I feel terrible for all of our students, especially our seniors,” Baldwin Athletic Director Ed Ramirez said. “But our kids have always been a model of excellence, and they’ve always been respectful, considerate and understanding when it comes to the greater good of others.”

East Meadow Athletic Director Kevin Regan added, “Everyone’s health and safety are most important, but this is difficult news to share. I am heartbroken for the coaches and our kids.”

South Side Athletic Director Carol Roseto said: "My heart goes out to all the spring athletes, but especially to the seniors who put in so much time, effort and commitment over the years."