CCCAA postpones spring sports due to coronavirus concerns

College of the Canyons
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Nearly all professional, collegiate and high school sports were suspended or canceled in the last few days with the health and safety of the athletes, staff and all those involved in mind.

On Tuesday, as the current situation was evolving, the CCCAA had initially decided that the 2020 Men’s and Women’s Basketball State Championship, which are both winter sports, would be played with only teams and essential staff in attendance.

After the NCAA and NAIA canceled their men’s and women’s basketball postseason tournaments, the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA), which College of the Canyons belongs to, has followed suit and announced that they will immediately postpone practices outside of regularly scheduled classes, competition for all spring sports, as well as any and all nontraditional sports seasons for the indefinite future due to concerns over the coronavirus on Thursday.

“It’s important that we look for the well-being of our student-athletes,” said Keith Curry, Chair of the Board of Directors in a press release.

The spring sports that will be impacted include baseball, men’s golf, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, swimming and track and field.

On Thursday, the same day the men’s and women’s basketball competitions were set to get underway, the CCCAA took preventive measures and canceled both the men’s and women’s tournaments at Golden Eagle Arena at West Hills College Lemoore.

“We regret the effect this has on our outstanding student-athletes and the hard work and dedication they’ve invested in their seasons,” said Jennifer Cardone, CCCAA Interim Executive Director in a press release. “However, we feel it’s in the best interest of our student-athletes to take this action.”

Head coach Gary Peterson and the men’s golf team played their last round of the 2020 season at the Clash at the Coast at Torrey Pines Golf Course on Wednesday and remained undefeated on the season at 7-0 with a final team score of 196, beating Mt. SAC by three strokes.

Hugo Amsallem and Matty Wilson got medalist honors with a score of 63 and Felix Schrott and Chayan Duha tied for runner-up with a 65.

“I’m an eternal optimist so I don’t use the word that starts with a ‘p,’” said Peterson. “I think that it’s suspended and there’s a chance that after Spring Break they may continue. What I would like to see if for the CCCAA to take every sport individually. The nature of golf is to give the player distance so they can execute their shot. 

“There’s no reason that golf couldn’t continue because it’s outdoors and the only time we would have close contact was on the van ride to events. With that being said, I understand the precautions and understand it’s a necessity and we want to make sure we curtail all possible infections and exposures. I’ve been doing this for 35 years and this team had the potential to be the very best team we have ever had.”

In track and field, COC’s David Salazar won the 1,500-meter race in 4 minutes, 08.08 seconds and got runner-up in the 800-meter (1:56.79) at the annual Beach Opener at Cal State Long Beach on March 6-7.

Evann Adams was the runner-up in the 100-meter (11.12) and 200-meter (22.38).

Cole Shirakata (15.42) and Julius Herrera (15.47) finished in second and fourth place in the 110hurdles.

The Cougars softball team (16-4 overall, 2-0 in WSC, South) was the final spring sports team to play before the announcements and defeated Bakersfield 9-2 on Thursday. The Cougars were on a four-game winning streak, winning eight of the last nine games and 14 of the last 16 before the season was cut short leaving the season incomplete.

Canyons’ baseball team (7-11-1, 4-0) seemed to find their stride to begin conference play, sweeping LA Valley in three games along with the first leg of a home-and-home series with LA Mission in a 9-5 win on Monday.

Women’s tennis singles player Mary MacAdam remained perfect at 12-0 on the season with a 6-2,6-3 win against Santa Monica’s Savaughna Mayo. Cougars doubles partners Nicole Villarta and Taylor Cohen won their fourth straight match and finished 7-2 in doubles’ play.

The team was 9-2 overall and 5-2 in WSC, South play.

The men’s swim team finished sixth overall, while the women’s team finished in ninth place at the WSC meet No. 2 at Cuesta College on Feb. 29.

Three Cougars finished with runner-up honors as Tim Lim collected two of the finishes in the 50-yard freestyle (21.75) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:10.21). Mikaela Martinez recorded the third runner-up finish in the 200-yard butterfly (2:23.30).

Canyons Athletics said they will continue to assess the situation and address the events that continue to unfold and will update information on its website and social media channels.

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