The Day Sports Shut Down

Elizabeth Clark

March 12, 2019 was a day full of cancellations, turmoil, sadness and panic in the sports world, and in every facet of the world. The infamous March Madness tournament, which was initially just supposed to be played without fans, decided to fully cancel the tournament. This is devastating not just for fans, but for athletes who have worked for this tournament their whole careers. Also, the NHL, NBA, and MLS suspended their seasons. Not just this, but the NCAA also suspended spring sports seasons. Sports help to create invaluable lessons and memories, so without this season, athletes are left with a gap in their career, and a lot of “what ifs”. As of now, Franklin High School Spring sports will still be played, but will start on March 30th.

The news that hit closest to home yesterday was that the MIAA cancelled the remainder of tournament games: ending the seasons of our girls basketball and cheer teams. The girl’s basketball team had an undefeated season, and made program history. The ending was very anticlimactic, leaving athletes incredibly frustrated and disappointed. The team also graduates three seniors, who played their last game in a Franklin jersey with a win against Minnechaug. These seniors helped to shape the basketball program to the caliber that it is now, and we hope that the team can continue their success in the coming years. However, nobody can take away this team’s undefeated season, and now a state championship banner. This situation is very similar for our Cheer team, who was ready to become State champions, after winning the region. They had an amazing, historical season as well, so ending this way was definitely not in anybody’s plans, especially not the seniors. New Balance Nationals was cancelled for track, which ended the season for many athletes who qualified. These athletes made a mark on the program, and again, it is devastating that they don’t get to compete in this event that they’ve worked for throughout their athletic careers.

High school sports were not the only sports affected, as our St. Mary’s 12th grade girls CYO team also lost the opportunity to play in their championship game, against their rivals. As a member of this team, it was hard to cope with my basketball career being over, and not knowing when I had played my last game. 

I’m sure this is the reaction of all athletes dealing with cancellations, and seasons being suspended. Ending any season abruptly is not what an athlete hopes for, but looking at the big picture, all of our teams had incredible seasons, and should be proud of themselves. We feel for all of the college athletes being stripped of their senior seasons, and the Franklin athletes who did not get closure on their seasons. We all know about the dangers of COVID-19, and understand why these events had to be cancelled, but it is a tough pill to swallow for all effected.