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MHSAA extends halt of athletic activities to include practices, scrimmages until at least April 5

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, March 13, 2020, 3:00 pm

The Michigan High School Athletic Association put a halt to all athletic activities Friday afternoon, suspending them until at least Sunday, April 5, coinciding with the call of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to close all schools for three weeks to inhibit the spread of COVID-19.

Those include: practices, scrimmages and games, as well as any strength and conditioning activities and any other organized sessions.

It applies to the winter sports whose postseasons were suspended on Thursday — girls and boys basketball and boys swimming — as well as spring sports, which were allowed to start practice earlier in the week. 

“By suspending all sports activities for the next three weeks, we are taking an additional step to maintain safety and minimize risk first, and also keep a level playing field for our schools and teams during this time of uncertainty,” MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said in a release. “A number of schools across the state already were making this decision, and setting this as the standard across our membership is appropriate especially given the quick pace with which this situation is continuing to evolve. Given the rapid, fast-moving and unprecedented events of this week, the MHSAA will use the time during this all-sport suspension of activities to evaluate all options and next steps which will be shared with schools in a timely manner.”

Members of the Detroit Edison girls basketball team, whose hunt for an historic fourth straight state title was halted before their regional championship game, were on hand at their school Friday to see one of their own, Gabby Elliott, awarded Miss Basketball by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan. 

“I have not heard a word since yesterday, unless we’re getting that right now, while we’re speaking,” said Edison coach Monique Brown, who was right within 30 minutes. “I would like to (still practice), but I’m not until I get the word.”

Now that word is out. 

The Pioneers had been saddened by the news that they couldn’t play.

“Wow. It’s crazy, because we were getting geared up to go play the regional championship yesterday,” Brown said. “We were sitting 22-0, with a chance to win our fourth championship, and to get the news we won’t be able to play? We were good with no fans, as long as we were playing. To get that, it was a very sad day for us.”

Elliott hadn’t yet processed the fact that her senior season might be over, yet, either.

“I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything, but I’m for sure going to still be in the gym. I know my teammates are still going to be in the gym,” Elliott said “It doesn’t stop; until it’s officially over, we still have to be mentally prepared, physically ready to play a game when that time comes.”

Now they may just have to do that individually, and at home.