Area Schools React to Suspension of Fall Sports
CADILLAC – With so much uncertainty over the summer months and at the beginning of the fall season for high school sports, the though of a postponement, suspension or cancellation of a season was always there.
With COVID-19 cases rising and new restrictions put in place by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday calling for a three-week pause for many activities, including high school sports, that suspension is now a reality.
Three fall high school sports tournaments are unresolved.
The volleyball postseason was set to conclude this Saturday, with state quarterfinals, semifinals and finals set to take place this week, while Lower Peninsula girls swimming and diving state finals were set for Friday and Saturday.
State semifinals were on tap for 8-player football this weekend while 11-player regional finals would take place Friday and Saturday. Eight-player and 11-player football was set to conclude on Nov. 28 and Dec. 4-5, respectively.
For Cadillac, its volleyball team won its 12th straight regional championship last Thursday and was set to face Birch Run in a Division 2 state quarterfinal on Tuesday. Its football program also clinched its second straight district title last Friday and was set to host Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern in a Division 4 regional final this week.
“For me, it’s kind of felt all season that there was an anvil hanging over our head,” Cadillac coach Cody Mallory said. “We were just waiting for someone to make a decision that could end the season or a game gets forfeited, so it’s been we’re just waiting for it to fall and it did.”
The MHSAA Representative Council will meet Wednesday to discuss plans for the three remaining fall sports tournament, with the goal of finishing them before the end of the year.
The council will also update the winter sports schedule. These plans are dependent on the suspension of high school sports only lasting until Tuesday, Dec. 8.
The MHSAA feels confident it can finish the three remaining fall sports tournament.
“If they can do it they’re going to do it,” Cadillac volleyball coach Michelle Brines said. “They don’t like it just as much as we don’t like it. They’re unfortunately the bearer of bad news. But, like I said, it’s not bad news just yet, it’s just being put on hold.
“We still know that there’s hope. It’s not like that devastating… because we don’t know yet there’s still, hope there.”
While teams are disappointed to not be playing this week, they’re remaining positive.
“We got to play. We got to play more than we expected,” Mallory said. “We put together back to back district championships in football. That’s only happened once before here. I’m proud of what our seniors have done. They can leave with their heads held high, but you always want your season to end on the field, not from a phone call.”