Saints Peter and Paul High had its boys’ soccer season postponed Thursday, when the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association announced its decision to postpone all fall athletic competitions indefinitely.

Ten days after the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association made its decision to postpone the 2020 high school fall and winter seasons during the first semester because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the MIAA and Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland announced it too was postponing their fall seasons.

A statement on the MIAA website said, “In response to the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and with the health, safety and well-being of our member-school campus and athletic communities being paramount, the members of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (MIAA) and the Interscholastic Athletic Association (IAAM) have voted to postpone all fall athletic competitions and championships. This postponement applies to the MIAA and IAAM sponsored sports and impacts cross country, field hockey, football, soccer, tennis, volleyball and water polo.”

The MIAA governs boys’ sports programs at 29 private schools, including Saints Peter and Paul. Saints Peter and Paul is not a member of the IAAM, which governs girls’ athletics at the same schools.

Saints Peter and Paul’s girls’ sports programs compete in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference. The ESIAC field hockey and girls’ soccer seasons have not been canceled, with practices scheduled to start Sept. 1.

Saints Peter and Paul competes in boys’ soccer and cross country in the fall.

The MIAA website post went on to say the MIAA and IAAM Board of Governors plan to reconvene in mid-October to evaluate the public health crisis and manage competitive options for the remainder of the 2020/2021 school year.

“I think it’s the right thing at the right time to look forward to having a different kind of season in the spring,” Sabres head coach G.R. Cannon said. “We look forward to it. We’ll be ready for it. And hopefully we can get by all this stuff in the safest way possible.”

The MIAA statement added: “Guided by the commitment to preserve and sustain the student-athlete experience as a core component of the educational mission, the MIAA and IAAM have researched numerous options to develop policies and protocols that would support a safe return to play progression this fall prior to making this decision. Ultimately, the persistence of the virus and the potential for exposure among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, support staff, fans and local communities, coupled with the need to safely reopen campuses this fall, made it impossible to execute a return to competition at this time without undue risk.

“To enhance the experience for all student-athletes, opportunities for strength and conditioning and sport-specific opportunities may be made available at each member school’s discretion in adherence with local and state health and safety guidelines,” the post continued. “Member schools are not permitted to participate in scrimmages or competitive play until further notice.”

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