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More than 800 high school sporting events in Arizona canceled due to COVID-19

The Arizona Interscholastic Association confirmed that 822 sporting events were canceled this week as omicron rages across the state.

PHOENIX —

This last week has felt like déjà vu for Saguaro High School basketball coach Lucas Ramirez and his team. 

“It did bring back last year when we told our guys the season is delayed," Ramirez said. 

The Sabercats recently paused all team-related varsity basketball activities until Jan. 20 due to an elevated number of COVID-19 cases within the program. 

“The thing is -- we all are dealing with it," Ramirez said. "It’s not just Saguaro basketball.”

Beyond the basketball court and competition fields

The coronavirus seems to be raging across Arizona after the state experienced a single-day record of more than 20,000 new cases due to the highly contagious omicron variant. 

This week, 822 high school sporting events were canceled, according to the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

“It is one of our highest cancelation weeks and so we really feel bad for the kids,” said AIA Executive Director David Hines. 

Hines said there are thousands of games played a week and he understands parents and students are upset over the cancellations.  

“I know you’re frustrated," Hines said. "I know you want to play but we are dealing with a situation (where) lives are at stake, so we have to do the best that we can.”     

Learning from adversity

Hines said other state associations are facing the same challenges as Arizona.  

“It’s going to make you stronger in the end," he said. "You are going to understand adversity.” 

He hopes games will be able to be rescheduled soon. 

Coach Ramirez knows his team will rebound just like they did last year. 

“They have to adapt in the classroom, on the court, on the field,  Ramirez said. "That’s one thing about the youth of today, they are resilient especially in the world we’re living in.”  

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