PSAL spring season cancelled due to COVID-19

Many senior varsity athletes disappointed by likely cancellation of the spring PSAL season, their final opportunity to play at Curtis.

Musayeroh Bah

On Saturday, April 11th, Mayor De Blasio announced that all NYC schools would remain shut down for the rest of the academic school year. With many other states making similar announcements this was a foreseen, yet still painful, outcome for New York, which has seen the most impact due to COVID-19. 

A month before this closure, all PSAL activities were all suspended immediately on Thursday, March 12th. This meant no games and no practices despite the spring season’s kickoff just a few weeks before. The next day, all activities and clubs were suspended as well. The next week, all schools across NYC were closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Since then, there has been no official news regarding PSAL activities but the closure of schools implies that the spring season has been unofficially canceled. Many hoped that schools would reopen soon along with their activities, but as the situation in NYC and across the US became more dire, it became apparent that students across the board had lost the rest of their school year. 

To the class of 2020, this is yet another heavy blow on top of their senior year being cut short, especially to the varsity athletes who were hoping to compete in their final season with their teammates. Along with the rest of their senior activities leading up to graduation canceled, they will also not get to see all of the people that they made such close bonds throughout their high school athletic career. 

Kaylie Hynes, a senior Varsity Softball player, said, Once I heard about the season cancellation I was very upset but as we went through the month I realized it’s for our safety. I was looking forward to playing for the championship in June in our senior year but I hope the underclassmen can handle that next year. I think the thing I’ll miss most about playing for Curtis is my teammates and my coach Mac and just having a fun time with them.” From Varsity Girls Lacrosse, another senior player, Olamidae Olayiwola said, “Well I’m really disappointed because I had big hopes for this season and I didn’t get the chance to live out and get whatever new memories would’ve come our way. I’m going to miss my team most of all because everyone together had just great vibes and I’m going to miss that rush I got on the field.”

From the boys’ Varsity Lacrosse, Allen Kariyakarawana said, “It was heartbreaking. Lots of the guys have been working 3 to 4 years for our final season. We felt that we could go all the way and bring a championship back to the castle but we had to understand it was necessary to keep everyone safe. Still, there’s a lot of what-ifs that won’t be answered. I’m going to miss having a family with my team. We spent time in and out of school; hours practicing with blood, sweat, and tears. I’m definitely going to miss Coach Packowski, he’s like a father to me and one of the greatest coaches I ever had; he’s always positive and going to keep hope. I hope I left the program in a better place and they continue to do the work and hopefully, bring home a championship for Curtis.” Jody Williams from the Baseball Varsity Team also commented, “I’m going to miss playing the music for our away games along with dressing up and having a walk-up song on my senior night.”

Coach Lagana, the Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse coach, was also shocked and heartbroken at the news amidst the chaos of the spring semester. She said, “This season was going to mean a lot of things to a lot of people on the team. We were working very diligently in order to ensure success and had been learning how to rise above challenges together.  I feel heart broken for the seniors who do not get the opportunity to have their last championship, or home game.” To her own team, she says, “Thank you for your dedication and commitment to excellence.  I know that  we did not get to have a season, but the path we were on was headed in the right direction.  Although you all may feel as if you have missed out on so much, there is so much to be learned from hard and difficult times like this.” When asked about the lack of PSAL comments, she replied, “PSAL has not communicated further details to my knowledge. It is understood by myself if we don’t go back to normal school attendance, then most likely, there will be no PSAL sporting events either.” 

She also had some final thoughts to say on the matter to all the athletes and students of Curtis. “No matter what happens, tough times don’t last. Therefore, make it a point to come out of these moments stronger than ever.” Much like Lagana, many other coaches are also disheartened by the abrupt stop to their season.

Although these circumstances are unprecedented for every student in New York City, the class of 2020 has really had to face the terrible prospects of it, with so many of their high school milestones being lost. For the senior players, it’s their last season that they’ve been working so hard towards. Despite that, the bonds that the teams have shared throughout the years from teammates to the coaches, the friends that they’ve made, and the lessons that they’ve learned from being on a Curtis team should never be forgotten or discredited. To all the senior varsity players, never forget to be proud of how far you’ve come no matter what and thank you for all the time you’ve spent defending the castle!