Logan Burtch-Buus, Tucson Local Media
As more and more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are announced in Pima County, and the Governor and Superintendent of Public Instruction call for the closure of all public schools, high school sports have been put on hold.
Marana Unified led the way, cancelling all athletic competitions through April 6, in addition to a variety of other activities.
“The health and safety of our students, staff and school community is of paramount concern to the Marana Unified School District,” said MUSD Superintendent Dr. Doug Wilson. “We continue our proactive efforts to provide a healthy and positive educational environment in our schools. District leadership is closely monitoring this ever-changing situation. We are consistently analyzing developments and monitoring student and staff absenteeism, and we are committed to taking actions aligned with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pima County Health Department, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the Arizona Department of Education.”
The district’s announcement, made before Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman’s joint address on Sunday, also including cancellation or evening school events, school-wide assemblies, fundraising, parents’ groups and district-sponsored events.
Marana Unified will reassess its closures in April.
Not long after school closures were announced, Marana High School Athletic Director Sarah Whaley communicated to coaching staff that no athletic practices of any kind will take place.
“As frustrating as it may be for our student athletes, we must follow the guidelines set in front of us and wait for further instruction on when we can continue team lifting, practices, competitions and camps,” Marana High School Football Coach Louie Ramirez wrote in an open letter to his athletes and their parents.
In a Monday release, the Arizona Interscholastic Association Executive Board announced that it has not decided to postpone or cancel the spring championship season.
“The governor’s office and the state health department have recommended a two-week suspension of school and activities,” wrote AIA Sports Information Coordinator Seth Polansky. “If this timeframe holds true, it should hopefully not impact postseason tournaments.”
The association also announced that there will not be any interscholastic competitions until Saturday, March 28. The earliest possible date for the resumption of competition will be Monday, March 30 unless otherwise notified.
“Our first objective is to get students back into the classroom and then have them return to the athletic arenas when appropriate,” Polansky wrote. “As Board members we will work diligently with our constituents to ensure a smooth transition back to school as usual.”