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IZAIAH SIMON

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RYAN KUGLER

The Colonial States Athletic Conference, with unanimous support from its Board of Directors, has announced the suspension of all athletic activity, including contests and championships, for the remainder of the 2020 spring semester. This suspension went into effect on Friday, March 20.

Keystone College, along with Clarks Summit University and Cedar Crest College, are members of the CSAC.

Softball players Paige Mokychic and Erin Dunn, as well as lacrosse players Shannon Green, Ryan Kugler, and Izaiah Simon are all Tunkhannock graduates who play for Keystone.

Danielle Krispin, a former Tiger, plays for Cedar Crest, and former Warrior Makayla Meaders plays softball for Clarks Summit University.

This decision comes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the CSAC is putting the health and well-being of its student-athletes, coaches, officials and campus support staff first.

“The health and well being of everyone is the main priority and everyone has to do their part to contribute,” said Keystone baseball coach Jamie Shevchik. “I told our players to use this time with family, find ways to be good productive community servants, do something positive.”

He continued, “We had a team meeting in Florida with players and parents and we told them that this is out of our control. How we act and react to all of this is in our control.”

Softball coach Allison Ritter echoed Shevchik, saying, “Although hard to go through, I definitely feel it is the right decision. This virus is bigger than all of us and we need to do our part in helping minimize the spread.”

Institutions shall continue to operate in the best interests of student-athletes when it comes to campus operations.

In the coming weeks, the CSAC will work together with its member institutions to pay tribute to the spring sport student-athletes whose seasons were impacted by this pandemic.

“It took me about a week to process the suspended season,” said Ritter. “Our kids had an extended spring break and I was able to process it all. I sent an email to the team about out season being shortened, not cancelled. As suspected, they were heartbroken, upset, crying. But were there to comfort each other.”

Shevchik also was on his spring break trip when the news broke about shortening the season.

“We were in Florida when we were told to stop playing games, it was a tough time, schools were doing their senior days on their spring trips,” he explained. “I feel terrible for the seniors, I believe some will come back. We’re having conversations with our seniors now but they are still trying to process what happened.”

According to the NCAA website, after the NCAA announced the cancellation of all remaining winter and spring championships in response to the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, the Division III Administrative Committee approved measures giving schools additional flexibility when it comes to student-athletes, as well as participation and membership requirements.

Also, the Division III measures approved on Friday, March 13, include an additional semester and season of eligibility for all student-athletes participating in spring sports.

In Division III, student-athletes have 10 semesters or 15 quarters to get in four seasons of participation.

With this move by the committee, the 2020 spring semester will not count toward their 10 semesters or four seasons.

“If I have any seniors return that’s a bonus,” said Ritter. “We are just going to work on keeping the team chemistry for remainder of spring, or however long this virus lasts.”

Already rostering full varsity and junior varsity squads, Shevchik added, “If seniors come back it will affect roster sizes, the fall season will be used as more of an extensive tryout process.”

The CSAC shares in the disappointment that is felt by its member institutions as a result of this decision and remains committed to work with its administrators and the NCAA staff to provide the most positive student-athlete experience now and in the future.