TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

April 30, 2020 — Another set of casualties

The contagion that is the COVID-19 virus has had tremendous human, social, and economic costs.

There have been nearly a quarter-million people killed worldwide. The U.S. is in its worst economic recession since the Great Depression nearly 100 years ago.

Entertainment has been relegated to video and the internet. Restaurants have had to change their business models in order to survive. Other businesses have closed.

Amongst those businesses: private schools, some of which offered field hockey and lacrosse to their student populace.

There have been nearly a dozen reported nationwide, including, just this week, the first school closing in the history of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, as Lebanon (Pa.) Catholic decided to close permanently.

Another school which has had a successful recent history in field hockey is Hammonton St. Joseph’s (N.J.), which won three sectional championships in a four-year span from 2010 to 2013, each time losing the state final to Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.).

St. Joseph’s had a number of fine players, including Megan DeMarco, who scored 126 goals in her career. But head coach John DeMarco, her father, left the school to coach Absecon Holy Spirit (N.J.). Last fall, the Wildcats posted a 3-14-3 record, scoring a mere six goals on the season.

The school’s closing does not only affect the field hockey team, but other sports such as basketball and football at the school, which have been wildly successful.

Another school relatively nearby St. Joseph’s is Wildwood (N.J.) Catholic, whose boys’ basketball graded out as the sixth best in New Jersey before the pandemic shut down the New Jersey Tournament of Champions.

There have been other schools which have chosen to close their doors after long service to the public. In Lawton, Okla., St. Mary’s Catholic is closing its doors after 113 years. Lebanon Catholic had been open for 161 years, and St. Joseph’s for 78 years.

These are institutions with long histories, thousands of alumni/ae, and a long legacy in education. But against a historic threat through the pandemic, just about any kind of institution is at risk these days, even essential ones like schooling.

And for the students, it’s disheartening.

 

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