Remer: All school sports shut down to contain coronavirus


BP Photo by Layla Dauer

CANCELLED: Firehawk girls flag football players stretched before their 30-2 rout of the YULA Panthers Sept. 16 at the Glendale Sports Complex. All athletics at Shalhevet — practices and games — have been postponed indefinitely.

By Alex Rubel, Senior Editor

Athletics at Shalhevet have been suspended indefinitely, in response to the intensifying coronavirus outbreak, Athletic Coordinator Jeff Remer told the Boiling Point Friday morning. 

“I would have to say that sports — more or less — will be shut down completely,” said Coach Remer. 

“We’re all going to have to be hunkered down and follow the protocols that have been given to us, to give ourselves every opportunity to stay well and healthy,” he added.

By and large, the American sports world has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in a similar fashion. After having two Utah Jazz players test positive for coronavirus just before tipoff against the Thunder on Wednesday, the NBA announced Wednesday night that it would be suspending its season until further notice. The NHL later followed suit on Thursday, and the MLB postponed its own opening day as well, which was scheduled for March 26. 

Meanwhile, the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament — also known as March Madness — has been cancelled for 2020. Senior David Saeedian and Adam Tizabi had organized a bracket challenge, and invited the entire school to participate in the annual tradition.

“It’s the most exciting and intense part of the sports world,” David said. “It’s a shame that it was cancelled.”

The effects of the coronavirus outbreak have spilled into the Jewish sports world as well. Last week, the Red Sarachek Tournament at Yeshiva University in New York — featuring 20 Jewish high school basketball teams from across North America — was officially postponed, though Coach Remer expects it to ultimately be cancelled. 

Coach Remer said there were talks of the school participating a smaller, local tournament, but he said that community spread fears would prevent the games from being played with viable crowds.

“If you can’t allow fans to participate and be a part of it, it really takes away all the excitement and everything that goes into it,” Coach Remer said. “I can’t envision that there will be anything in the near future for basketball.”

Spring sports at Shalhevet include boys and girls volleyball, boys baseball, girls swim, tennis, and golf. The annual girls volleyball tournament at YULA has been postponed, as have all meets for the swim team. Next week’s Milken Tournament has also been cancelled for the boys volleyball team.

Also, Coach Remer said that Boston’s 4th Annual Ezra Schwartz Memorial Baseball Tournament — which was supposed to be attended by the baseball team in April — is likely to be cancelled.

In a webinar with Shalhevet parents Wednesday night, Dr. Zach Rubin — Chief of the Healthcare Outreach Unit at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) Acute Communicable Disease Control Program — said children are especially prone to carrying the virus when they are in close contact with one another. Therefore, he said limiting inter-school activities like sports at Shalhevet would help prevent the spread of coronavirus in the wider community.

Just as the sports leagues have done already, Dr. Rubin said Los Angeles County is planning on reducing the number of gatherings where there are thousands of people congregated in close contact with one another. 

“We’re probably ready to pull the trigger on some of these things fairly soon, but we’re not quite ready to do it yet,” Dr. Rubin said at the webinar, which was viewed by 112 Shalhevet students and parents.