Coronavirus causes havoc for sports locally, nationally


PIAA Website

The PIAA is suspending its winter sports championships.

Jake Bollinger, Sports Writer

The Bellwood-Antis Lady Blue Devils became collateral damage in the growing coronavirus pandemic today when they learned that the PIAA has suspended state playoff games for two weeks.

B-A was scheduled to play in the Elite 8 tomorrow against Penns Manor at Central Cambria in the girls 2A playoffs. The Lady Devils are seeking an unprecedented third straight PIAA championship.

“This is uncharted territory for our country and we cannot risk a catastrophic spread of coronavirus,” said B-A Athletic Director Charlie Burch. “Hopefully it is a ‘minor’ inconvenience to save a lot of people from the illness. As athletic director, I will deal with things as they reach my desk.  We still need a lot of clarification from PIAA on the future of the playoffs, as well as what direction to head with the spring season.  I should know more over the next few days.  Let’s hope we have very few cases over the next week and we can start to resume athletics as normal.”

As of Thursday morning there have been 21 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in PA. 

Mt. Lebanon was the first school in PA to make a move on keeping their players safe during this difficult time by choosing not to play its second round playoff game against Cheltenham, which is located in Montgomery county near Philly. Cheltenham officials released a statement saying that a parent in the district was a caregiver to a patient who tested positive for the virus, therefore exposing him or herself, and those around them to the virus. 

The virus has also impacted schools close to home, such as State College who will be closing from March 16th through the 20th due to the virus, and their proximity to the university. 

Wednesday night the NBA released a statement saying that the remainder of the season will be postponed until further notice.  Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus Wednesday before the Jazz’s road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game was postponed and all players had to stay in the locker room until they were scanned and cleared of the virus. Rudy wasn’t the only player to test positive fro the virus, star point guard Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive with COVID-19.  The NBA wasn’t the only professional league to halt play, but the NHL and MLB have pushed back all of their games until further notice.

More shockingly the NCAA has canceled the March Madness tournament, along with all spring athletics, due to the risk of the players and coaches safety.