DRAPER — When Gov. Gary Herbert announced last week that schools would be closed for the rest of the academic year, the Utah High School Activities Association decided to cancel all spring sports, activities and championships.
“We’ve worked our whole lives for this moment and for it to be taken away like that, it’s just hard,” said Ethan Lamb, a senior and baseball player at Lone Peak High School.
“It’s devastating that it’s over right now but hopefully they can reconsider it,” said Chase Comer, one of his teammates.
A group of students, parents and coaches said the UHSAA made a bad call.
“We feel like the decision to cancel spring sports for the high school students was just done prematurely,” said Mark Comer.
Comer is part of a group that started a petition to ask the UHSAA and the governor’s office to reconsider. It had nearly 5,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
They said they’re not asking to reinstate spring sports right away, but just don’t rule them out altogether.
“Leave the door open to continue to monitor the numbers and if the numbers continue to go down then there are things that they could do to have a shortened season,” said Comer.
The group also created a video with athletes from over a dozen high schools. They’re all seniors pleading with state leaders to “let us play” even with restrictions.
“These kids are willing to play in hazmat suits if they had to in order to play ball. And so whatever those guidelines are in place; no fans, maybe streaming the games, whatever those things are, these kids will take anything,” said Comer. “Our hope really is that we get the attention of the governor and the UHSAA and have them just kind of open that door again. Don’t throw in the towel yet.”
UHSAA officials said their primary concern is the health and safety of students and they would lean on public health officials for direction.