A season for the ages came to an abrupt halt with the threat of the coronavirus looming, but the Arroyo Grande boys basketball team did something never done before in school history: advance to a CIF State Championship game.
"It's definitely an unfortunate situation,” Stephen Field, Arroyo Grande’s Athletic Director, said.
That’s to say the least. When the CIF announced Thursday the state finals would be canceled, the team was notified by Field and head coach of the team, Ryan Glanville.
“They had already known through social media, but we put an official ending to it. We allowed them to have some closure as a team with coach, the staff, and the boys,” Field said. “We were very disappointed and sad that our boys wouldn't have the opportunity to compete for a state title. It's definitely a bummer, but however, we understand and respect the reason CIF made. It's just a bummer for the boys."
And along with AG, other teams around the state still vying for a shot at a title didn’t get the chance to compete.
"The state championship will be held vacant,” Field said of the 2020 CIF state basketball tournament.
But even without a game deciding the winner of each division, this Eagles team was something special on and off the court.
“Winning a Southern California Regional Championship is huge, and we couldn't be prouder of the kids and the team for what they've accomplished,” Field said. “What they've done on the floor is tremendous, but who they are and how they conduct themselves and represent Arroyo Grande is second-to-none. They're an amazing group of young men."
The 2nd state championship in school history will have to wait (the 2001 boys track and field team won the CIF state title), but the team ends the season on a winning note.
“The group of friends they are, the integrity they have; you could go on and on and on,” Field said. “That's what's truly special about this group."