LINCOLN - The NCA all-star games in basketball, volleyball and softball were to have been July 20 through 22 in Lincoln as part of the association’s annual clinic that also was hosting the National High School Athletic Coaches Association convention.
The NCA board voted unanimously in a video conference to cancel the week’s activities at a meeting on April 26.
NCA Executive Director Darin Boysen said the association has gotten pushback about the all-star games being canceled.
“There are some who understand and don’t like it, but we are there, too,” Boysen said. “There’s no guarantee that we could even have the games. We can’t say what the health mandates in July will be.”
Boysen said the NCA consulted leading health authorities from Lincoln hospitals. One said it would be irresponsible to put large gatherings together in one week. There would have been three banquets, two for the national association, which would have ranged from 400 to 600 guests.
The clinic, with the convention, was expected to draw 3,000 to Lincoln North Star.
Boysen said North Star was to hold the Lincoln Public Schools summer classes that would have ended the Friday before the NCA’s week, but the school district recently decided to switch to online learning for the summer.
“We have responsibility to the schools we’re working directly through. If we push something and put the fall in jeopardy, we’re not comfortable doing that,” Boysen said. “This is an excruciating decision. This is a huge economic impact for us. I’ve come to peace with it from the consultation with the medical field. It would not be the right thing to do.”
While the national convention will return to Lincoln in 2021, there won’t be another chance for the high school seniors to have their all-star games.
“My heart goes out to the 2020 class,” Boysen said. “It’s endured and sacrificed a lot, but there’s a bigger picture than this.”
Three Waverly players were selected to play in the games which are now canceled.
Waverly graduate Kennedi Claycomb was selected to play in the all-star softball contest after a great season on the mound for the 21-12 Lady Vikings who finishing just one game short of qualifying for the state tournament.
Viking volleyball players Annika Evans and Abigail Plouzek were both picked to play in the annual volleyball contest.
The Viking duo helped led the Viking netters to their best season since 1975 in 2019. Waverly finished with a record of 29-4 and lost in the Class B state semifinals against Omaha Duchesne.