Local schools, sports leagues cancel games and practices

Even before Santa Clara County officials announced Friday that all public schools would be closed through April 3 due to the coronavirus pandemic, local high schools and sports leagues had suspended play.

Los Altos and Mountain View highs halted all action after Thursday’s games – and only a few teams competed that day.

After announcing the suspension of all spring sports late Thursday, the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League – which Los Altos and Mountain View are a part of – planned to allow teams “to practice and train, being conscience of social distances and not having large numbers in a gym or area,” commissioner Brad Metheany wrote in an email to athletic directors. “The joy of sport and workout might be important due to these stressful times our student/athletes are going through.”

Friday morning’s mandate from the county eliminated that option. No school means no practice, according to officials at Los Altos and Mountain View.

St. Francis also cancels games

Teams from St. Francis High, which announced Thursday that it will close the campus until March 30, last played and practiced March 11. St. Francis is a member of the West Catholic Athletic League, which suspended play Thursday.

“We will wait for guidance from (the Central Coast Section and California Interscholastic Federation) before deciding how to move forward with spring contests once schools reopen,” WCAL commissioner Jolene Fugate told the Town Crier Friday evening. “Right now the health and safety of our communities and all those impacted by COVID-19 is our top priority.”

Michael Pilawski, director of athletics at St. Francis, Thursday morning posted a message on the Lancers’ athletics website that the school planned to close the campus for two weeks “out of an abundance of caution in order to safeguard the well-being of our students, educators and families.”

St. Francis teams that competed before the closure included the softball squad, which hosted Mountain View March 11.

Los Altos nixed Thursday’s home track meet against Milpitas – a day earlier co-head coach Steph MacKenzie said she was “hoping that we get a couple meets in before the season gets canceled” – but the Eagles did play baseball that day against visiting Leland. Mountain View competed in only one sport Thursday, badminton, against visiting Los Altos, according to Spartans athletic director Shelley Smith.

Little League also affected

The local high schools aren’t alone in canceling sports during the pandemic. Los Altos & Los Altos Hills Little League made the same call late last week.

All games and practices have been suspended until further notice, according to league president Steve Apfelberg.

“We hope to resume our spring 2020 season but will wait until we get a clear nod that we can do so from health agencies and Little League International,” he said.

Opening Day was originally scheduled March 29.

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