Coronavirus takes a toll on student athletics
St. Raphael Academy withdraws from sporting events like a boys' hockey game this weekend
NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WLNE) — After temporarily closing for a cluster of Covid-19 cases, St. Raphael Academy is now voluntarily withdrawing from athletic events, like the Boys Division II Hockey Semifinals.
“It’s hard for the kids themselves to have to pull out, and not get a chance to compete,” said Elaine Dalise of Coventry.
St. Ray’s withdrew from a game against South Kingstown, allowing South Kingstown to play against Lincoln.
St. Raphael says it met with the Rhode Island Interscholastic League to make the difficult decision, recognizing that it’s a devastating blow to the athletes and coaches who worked hard to get to this point.
Some say the decision goes too far.
“As a parent, I think it was a little tough, to be honest,” said Michelle Halloran of Lincoln.
But others say it’s the right thing to do to keep everyone safe.
“My heart goes out to them, but I think that was the best decision,” said Anna Costa of Lincoln, “because why put everybody else in that predicament?”
Spectators at the game say they’ve been extra diligent in keeping their hands clean understanding that the athletes’ dreams had to come second to public safety.
“I feel for those seniors who didn’t get a chance to play out their season,” said Bill Tillson of Lincoln. “But then again, with the crisis going on now with this, it is what it is.”
St. Ray’s emphasizes that the vast majority of its students, who are not under quarantine, do not pose a health risk.