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Connecticut High School Championships Canceled Over Coronavirus Fears

David Butler II
CPTV Sports
East Catholic Eagles (Manchester) fans react to the on-court action as their boys high school basketball team takes on the Middletown Blue Dragons in the 2016 CIAC Class L Championship.

The fallout from the spread of the coronavirus has hit high school sports in the state. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has notified schools that it has canceled the state championships for all winter sports. 

There will be no 2020 champion for CIAC-sanctioned winter sports, and that hasn’t happened for some sports since the 1920s.

Spokesman Joel Cookson says the CIAC has yet to determine the fate of the spring sports playoffs.

“It’s difficult to say to seniors and to others that they won’t have the opportunity to finish these tournaments,” said Cookson. “But we do believe it is what is in the best interests of all of our membership and the schools in Connecticut.”

The news brought instant reaction from the teams that were still in the hunt for glory this season. Daniel Hand (Madison) girls basketball coach Tim Tredwell took to Twitter to commiserate with his players.

Others disagreed with the CIAC’s call. Notre Dame High School basketball coach Jason Shea tweeted “shame on the CIAC.”

Jake Walker, a former goalie for Fairfield Prep, began a petition online to pressure the CIAC to consider reinstating the championship games, but play them without spectators as a concession to public health.

This news comes as other organizations consider canceling sporting events or playing them in the absence of spectators.

The Ivy league has canceled its postseason men’s basketball tournament and given the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid to Yale.

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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