Hite - Chrisman

FILE — Cosby baseball coach Justin Hite (left) and CCHS baseball coach Andy Chrisman (right) gather for a pregame meeting ahead of their 2019 matchup at Cocke County High School.

And just like that, it’s over.

Just a month after schools across the state began closing their doors to the COVID-19 pandemic, the recommendation was made by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Wednesday that those doors remain closed through the rest of the 2019-20 academic calendar year.

“I’m officially recommending local school districts close for the remainder of the school year,” Lee said in his public address. “Our department of education will continue to work with local leaders. We want to make sure there is flexibility for local districts all across the state, as they have critical year-end activities that they need to complete to get ready for the next school year.”

Just hours after the governor made the recommendation, the TSSAA followed suit by calling off the remainder of the spring sports season and division I state basketball tournament that had yet to be completed in mid-March.

“With the Governor’s announcement of school closure for the remainder of the school year, all remaining TSSAA events for 2019-20, including all spring sports and the postponed state basketball tournaments, are cancelled.

“This is an unprecedented time across our state and country, and we do not make this decision lightly. We thank all of the participants, their coaches, administrators, parents, and everyone else who has dedicated a tremendous amount of time, passion, and effort to high school athletics, especially these affected events,” the TSSAA said in a released statement.

The state of Tennessee becomes the 25th state to either close or recommend the closure of schools through the remainder of the academic calendar.

Attention will now shift towards summer athletic activities and the fall sports calendar currently set to begin in August. The TSSAA noted information will be given to its member schools regarding summer activities at a date in the near future.

The organization is currently set to have its next board of control meeting in early June.

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