Coaches, student athletes respond to AIA’s decision to cancel winter sports due to COVID

High school basketball
High school basketball(HSBB)
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 9:44 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - On Friday, Jan. 8, the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s executive board voted 5-4 to cancel winter sports. This will impact basketball, soccer and wrestling seasons.

It was tough news to digest for athletes all across the state.

For some, this year was their second chance. Pueblo High School senior, Getsemani Cazares, suffered an injury last year that kept her out for her entire junior season. Now a senior, and finished physical therapy, Cazares was ready to hit the court.

″I was really looking forward to playing this year, playing with the girls, it’s just really hard for me,” said Cazares.

Head coach for Pueblo HS, Ismael Galindo, said they sort of had a feeling this would happen. Still, it doesn’t make losing the season sting any less.

“I understand, I really do. I see what’s going on. I don’t like it, but it is what it is at this point. But I mean, I would of liked the opportunity to play,” said Galindo.

For Sahuaro High School senior Alyssa Brown, this year meant sharpening her skills before heading off to play for the University of Nevada Las Vegas next year.

“We had big plans and we were ready to go after the season,” said Brown.

She’s one of the lucky few with a scholarship lined up. But she is worried for her teammates, who now have to turn to club basketball, that is not as regulated when it comes to COVID precautions.

“My fellow seniors, just all around Tucson in general, they’re kind of just scared and forced to go back to club to try and get an offer. So it’s just been very sad all around today,” said Brown.

In November, the board postponed the start of winter season until Jan. 18.

There is no word yet on the spring sports season, which includes baseball and softball.

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