ROCK SPRINGS – The Wyoming High School Activities Association announced on Friday that spring sports have been suspended until Saturday, March 28, at the earliest.
In wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, also known as coronavirus, many sports programs and leagues at all levels across the world are either being postponed or canceled.
For many of these student athletes, coaches and staff, this news was heartbreaking.
Before waking up on the morning of Wednesday, March 12, local student-athletes, including seniors on the team, had no idea they could have possibly played in their final game.
On Monday, March 9, the Rock Springs High School and Green River High School soccer teams laced up their cleats for the start of the 2020 spring season for tryouts and practices.
However, three days later, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, Thomas Jassman, the athletic director at Rock Springs, met with WHSAA officials on Thursday.
They discussed the possibility of canceling the upcoming spring season altogether, which includes boys and girls soccer, along with outdoor track.
According to the Tigers head soccer coaches, both Stephen Pyer and Lyndon Klein are hoping the season will continue on.
Pyer, head coach of the RSHS girls soccer team, said after the suspension came in, “I don’t have much knowledge on the virus, however, the team will support whatever officials rule. We will do whatever it takes to keep our girls fully healthy.
“If the season does get suspended altogether, that will be really hard, especially for our seniors,” Pyer said. “Even our juniors, that would be hard for them. This is their year to get heavily recruited. If this does end up being the case, our plan is to pick back up next year and continue playing club soccer.”
In 2019, Pyer and the RS girls soccer team placed third at the state tournament in Jackson after losing only one game all season. They finished the 4A West Conference with a perfect 12-0 record and an overall record of 20-1. Rock Springs’ only loss on the year was to the current defending state champs, Thunder Basin, in an intense shootout in the state semifinals.
Before the news of the COVID-19 outbreak was released, Pyer and his girls were set to have another successful season in 2020.
As for Klein and his team, he said, “I’m glad the WHSAA is taking this approach rather than canceling the season altogether. ... I think if they do cancel the season down the road, the kids, especially the seniors would be absolutely devastated.”
Klein added, “We have already begun practicing, and I can tell that everyone, including the coaches and parents, are already excited.”
After coming up short a year ago, the RSHS boys team is in the works of getting back to the state tournament in 2020, which would be in Cheyenne later this year.
According to WHSAA officials, it is up to the school district to determine if the teams can continue with practices during this suspension.
Both soccer programs at Rock Springs High School have been given the green light to continue with practices.