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High school spring sports season canceled in Europe

The Ansbach Cougars celebrate their 2-1 win over Sigonella in the boys Division III final at the 2019 DODEA-Europe soccer championships in Kaiserslautern, Germany, last May. There will be no champions in spring sports this year as DODEA-Europe canceled the season due to coronavirus concerns.

MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES

By GREGORY BROOME | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 18, 2020

Read more coronavirus coverage from Stars and Stripes.

DODEA-Europe has canceled the entirety of the 2020 spring sports season in response to the coronavirus, athletic director Kathy Clemmons announced Wednesday.

“In light of recent guidance from DODEA Force Protection at Headquarters, the decision has been made to cancel the 2020 spring sports season,” Clemmons wrote in an email distributed to coaches and athletic directors. “This is highly disappointing to all of us and will be heartbreaking for our student/athletes.”

The decision comes after weeks of incremental cancelations to the spring season, which was originally scheduled to start the weekend of March 14 with boys and girls soccer. The first wave of cancelations affected Italy, the European country first drastically impacted by the coronavirus. Soon after games through March 21, including the first weekend of baseball and softball, were scrapped.

On Tuesday, Clemmons sent an email to sports staff across DODEA-Europe that games and meets were canceled through spring break, thereby canceling the planned March 28 opening weekend of track and field, and said the organization would revisit the issue on April 13, the scheduled return date from spring break.

In that same email, Clemmons encouraged coaches and athletic directors to keep communication open with student-athletes with the hope that practices and games would eventually resume.

While Wednesday’s announcement eliminated that possibility, Clemmons again urged school-level staff to be available to the many kids affected by the decision.

“Please be prepared, as athletic directors and coaches, to offer support as many of our student/athletes, especially seniors, will have a difficult time processing this turn of events,” Clemmons said in Wednesday’s message. “All decisions are made with the health of our students, staff and communities in mind.”

broome.gregory@stripes.com
Twitter: @broomestripes

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