It was not a popular decision, but it was the right thing to do.
In the wake of the national emergency the United States is currently going through, the decision to cancel sports, especially high school sports weighed deeply on the minds in Topeka.
The KSHSAA made the decision on Thursday evening, as the final games were in the middle of the second quarter to cancel the remaining state tournament games.
The bubble that we had all lived in had popped and the COVID-19 has become real. A man died in Wyandotte County on Thursday night, forcing Governor Laura Kelly to declare Kansas a state of emergency.
Then, on Friday morning in Wichita, a Butler County man had presumptively tested positive for the virus, meaning initial tests were done at Wesley Medical Center and now will be forwarded onto the CDC for confirmation.
It’s in our back yard.
It’s easy to want to see these players we root for, and in my case, cover, do well. We want the best story lines. We want to see if Andover, albeit it Central and High respectively, bring home a girls and boys trophy to the city of Andover.
We wanted to watch Rose Hill and Augusta go at it for the right for the state championship. The first game was a doozy with the Orioles winning on a last second shot. There’s little to doubt that Friday would have not lived up to the expectations of two towns 18 miles apart would bring.
According to the CDC and the World Health Organization the numbers have been multiplying over the last few weeks. While the kids aren’t as in the risk category as someone over the age of 60, there’s always a chance. KSHSAA did not want to take that chance.
So, for the first time since 1930, there will be no state champion in Kansas.
I typed out a paragraph in hopes of saying something along the lines of “as these kids get older, they’ll understand.” It would be flat out disrespectful to say that.
The players may never get over the chance to go 23-0 and win the school’s first state championship. They may never forgive the state for their decision. However, if fewer people are infected and fewer die because of this decision, it would have been the right decision.