Stopped short: Local student athletes react to cancellation of spring sports

Posted 4/30/20

By ALEX SPONSELLER Last Friday, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League canceled the 2020 spring sports season in accordance with Gov. Gina Raimondo's announcement that schools would continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year. The

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Stopped short: Local student athletes react to cancellation of spring sports


Last Friday, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League canceled the 2020 spring sports season in accordance with Gov. Gina Raimondo’s announcement that schools would continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year.

The cancellation now officially ends the 2019-20 high school sports season, leaving many local athletes upset with the news.

“I’m not going to have the opportunity to play for my high school again. You know, I thought that this would be my last ride in high school, my last ride with my friends, teammates, coaches. We felt that we could go far as an under-the-radar team. It’s sad the more you think about it,” said Cranston East senior baseball player Griffin Martin, who was not surprised by the news and plans on taking it one step at a time. “I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming, I think we all saw it coming. As a team, we had our group chat, we had hope, but now that it is official, especially for me and the other seniors, it is sad. We thought we were going to have a special season, we felt that we had a special team, so it is sad to not be able to see what that could have become. There’s nothing we can do about it now but to move forward.”

Martin’s senior teammate Christian Adams also felt that this year’s club had a chance to make a deep run.

“I had time to process it since I expected it. It’s tough, but considering everything going on out there I am lucky to not have worse things to worry about. We had high hopes for this year. We didn’t have a great year last year, we had a new coach that was still learning the players, still figuring things out. This year we had that familiarity, we had things figured out, we felt that we would be able to make some noise,” said Adams, who will miss playing high school ball. “It was a great chance to go out there and have fun with your friends, teammates, win some games. That’s what it is all about. Those interactions in the dugout, the locker room, those are the things that I’m going to miss the most.”

Toll Gate senior lacrosse player Matt Carr was, on the other hand, surprised by the news.

“I was hopeful because they said they may try to bring things back in May, but that’s not happening anymore. I’ve been playing lacrosse my whole life, this was supposed to be my last year to play on this team with my friends. We already had signups, scheduled captains practices … it’s still kind of surprising to me that they canceled it,” Carr said.

Carr’s senior teammate Kyle O’Keefe was also upset to miss out on his final season.

“I was looking forward to being a leader and finishing strong. We also had a lot of good players that were ready to work. Putting the season on hold is definitely going to hurt. It’s a bummer not being able to play with my friends for one more year,” O’Keefe said.

Cranston West senior softball player Olivia Conti was sad to see her senior season taken away, especially considering she is finally healthy after rehabbing an injury.

“I was heartbroken. Last season, I had a shoulder injury and was only able to hit. This season was the first season that I was going to be really able to play my main position, which is shortstop. Seeing senior year coming around, thinking I was going to be able to play my spot, then the news came around. It broke my heart,” she said.

Conti appreciates West coach Jeff Smith for being supportive of her and her teammates during this tough time.

“We’ve had a group chat going. Our coaches have been trying to keep us in good spirits. Coach Jeff, I couldn’t be more grateful for him. We’re all heartbroken, the sophomores and juniors feel horrible for the seniors, too. For us seniors, we get to play in college, but this was our last chance to play together which made it hurt even more,” Conti said.

Fellow West senior Meg Anderson was frustrated by the cancellation due to the fact that it was possibly her last opportunity to sharpen her skills prior to playing next season for Division II University of New Haven.

“Losing out on your senior sports season in high school, losing the last chance to play with people that you have been playing with for 14 years, it hurts. This was a very important year in terms of getting ready for [college],” Anderson said. “I play on a travel team in the summer, but those extra three months of high school are so important with getting prepared. Losing out on the season means I’m losing out on a lot of working time which sucks.”

Toll Gate junior lacrosse player Matt Modeen was also hoping that this season would allow him to establish himself as a leader for the Titans. Now, he has to wait until his senior year to earn his stripes.

“It’s a bummer because this is my junior year, this is a very important year for me. This was supposed to be a growing year, it was a ‘prove yourself’ season, it was a chance to prove yourself as a captain for senior year. You want to be a captain your senior year, you want that ‘C’ on your chest. Now I don’t have a chance to show myself, it sucks,” Modeen said.

The cancellation also affects the local freshmen quite a bit. The youngsters will now have to wait an extra year to hit the field and get their feet wet at the high school level.

Pilgrim freshman softball player Alyssa Twomey was looking forward to getting to know her teammates and making her mark on the program.

“I was really looking forward to my first high school season. I trained hard all winter long, as I am sure a lot of the other girls had, too. This whole thing took me by surprise and I was definitely not prepared for my freshman softball season to be taken away that quickly,” Twomey said. “It was truly devastating, especially for the seniors I can imagine. I was looking forward to getting to play with all the girls, and now there are some who I will not be able to experience playing softball with. I was so excited for the softball season, but now I will never know what it’s like to play high school softball as a freshman. Overall, it’s very upsetting, but that doesn’t mean we can all stop working hard for the upcoming summer season and the following school seasons to come.”


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