The Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) canceled the spring sports season for its 17 members, including The John Cooper School, in a post to its website Friday morning.

Friday’s decision overrules and extends a March 15 plan to cancel conference games through April 13. Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently announced the closure of all Texas schools through May 4 in an executive order.

“I wasn’t totally surprised,” Cooper athletic director John Hoye said in a phone interview Friday. “With the governor giving his direction, I thought we would follow suit.”

Cooper has been in an online-learning mode for two weeks and will continue through the governor’s timeline.

Hoye said coaches will continue to communicate with their teams through technology despite the seasons being canceled.

The SPC decision to cancel the whole spring season is the first of its kind in Texas as the University Interscholastic League (UIL) and the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) remain in limbo. A letter from SPC Board of Directors Chair Jon Kellam and Commissioner Bob Windham acknowledged the difficultly of the decision.

“We are all saddened that circumstances warrant these actions but realize we are doing what is in the best interest of the health, safety, and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and fans,” the letter, in part, read. “Throughout the remainder of this academic year and the summer months ahead, the Commissioner and Operations Committee will monitor ongoing conditions as we plan for the fall season. We will stay in close communication with all member schools as information warrants.”

The UIL released a statement Friday saying it would modify its previous plan to resume competition May 4 and that, ‘all decisions remain flexible and will be consistent with the advice of local, state and federal officials.’

This past Tuesday, TAPPS dropped its original plan to return to play April 13 and left open three other plans. The first two involve resuming practice May 4 or May 18, and the third is to cancel the spring season.

With its spring season officially canceled, Cooper has now moved toward brainstorming ideas around how to honor seniors that won’t be able to finish their last high school season.

“We’re definitely already working on a couple things,” Hoye said. “We have an end of the year awards evening that we always do, but I’ve been throwing around ideas about how to make it unique and special for the seniors that missed out on their season and the end of the year recognition.”

jmaskulinski@hcnonline.com

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