Since Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order Friday that officially ended the school year and the spring athletic season, coaches, teammates and team boosters have taken to social media to pay tribute to all athletes, especially the seniors, who won't have the opportunity to see their sports seasons come to normal conclusion.
Although it's painful for all, the closure is especially sad for teams with state championship aspirations. Medina baseball, the defending Section VI Class B champion, and Williamsville East softball, the defending state Class A champion, were among those who received the consolation of online tributes retweeted on the Section VI and Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association websites.
"Coming off of a season in which they finished 21-3, won the Section VI Class B Title and advanced to the state final four, @MedinaSports was primed to take its success to another level in 2020. " was the post on twitter by Medina coach Jon Sherman.
Medina lost to Schuylerville in the 2019 New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B semifinals after defeating Roy-Hart in the sectional crossover game and LeRoy in the Far West Regional. The Mustangs' only regular season losses, were to Roy-Hart, both in extra innings.
"Very proud to represent New York State at #7 in the @MaxPreps National HS Softball Pre-Season poll!!," was a tweet about the Williamsville East softball team. Coach Chris Durr's Flames lost several standout players from the 2019 team but the presence of pitcher Summer Clark, utility player Abbie Stellrecht and catcher Ella Wesolowski, who started as a eighth-grader last spring, brought East a high preseason national ranking from the high school sports website and made it a logical favorite in sectional play.
It was more disappointing, perhaps, because the East girls soccer team coached by Durr was favored to win the sectional title last fall before 13 of 21 players on the team were suspended for violating the district's interscholastic athletic contract, causing the Flames to end their season prematurely and forfeit games after a 4-0-1 start.
Lewiston-Porter was another area baseball team with high hopes.
"Seniors. No class was deeper in talent, number, and commitment to baseball. My heart bleeds for you & the disappointment of not competing. The Coaching staff will never forget you and everything you have done. We will celebrate. As always BE FEARLESS," was the twitter message to the Lancers.
At Frontier, they found at least some good news. Junior Josh Peron, one of the Falcons' team of crack middle and distance runners, was ranked high nationally by the website Milesplit.
"We will be missing many great performances from our seniors this year! On a positive note, Josh Peron ranked #36 overall recruit nationally for the class of 2021. Can't wait to see what he can do in our new track!" was the post on twitter.
At Southwestern, they found another cause for consolation. The tweet from @swtrojantrack was:
"With the cancellation of the spring season, our senior class of boys finished their career without losing a dual meet. Three league championships, three undefeated seasons. Congrats."
Tom Prince of Western New York Athletics lamented the cancellation of the baseball showcase event that would have put the talent of 20 teams on display in Niagara Falls. The showcase was scheduled for Saturday.
"Today would have seen 20 teams play in Niagara Falls at the WNY Athletics Showcase event. Would have been one of the biggest HS baseball events at 1 venue ever in WNY. Im heart broken for all of these kids this season!" was Prince's post on Saturday morning.
Pete Schneider, Monsignor Martin Association executive director, retweeted St. Joe's baseball coach Paul Nasca's message to his graduating seniors who won't play their final season.
"Gabe Hayek Sam Murphy Cade Dick John Armento Mitch Floccare Andrew Stablewski Dom Cassata Dandre Huynh Elliot Widenor Tino Turello Sam Calcaterra. "Marauder Seniors. Good Luck and Thank you for everything".
Amid all the disappointment, athletes and schools continued to announce college decisions by their students.
St. Mary's of Lancaster posted on its College Decision Spotlight that Brendan Mutry, a five-sport athlete and a top student, will go to Syracuse University to study engineering and computer science, and Jaden McCartney will study mechanical engineering technology and run track at Rochester Institute of Technology.
St. Francis soccer player Patrick Connolly will attend Ohio State.
Nardin Academy announced that Rebecca Galbraith will continue her lacrosse career at Oberlin College in Ohio.
Buffalo Seminary lacrosse goalie Alex Galbraith is headed for another Ohio school, The College of Wooster.