Shortened sports competitions for students

Marianas High School’s Tommy Lee Augustine, left, blocks Saipan Southern High School’s Emmanuel Cobacha during their title match in the 2018 PSS High School Basketball Tournament held at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium in May. PSS’ athletic department will have to hold shortened tournaments for the 2018-2019 school year after Super Typhoon Yutu hit Saipan and Tinian and caused massive damage to the two islands. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Public School System Student Support Services Athletic Program director Nick Gross will be working on shortened sports activities next year.

“The athletic department will be planning for January-May activities. However, due to the varying schedules throughout the PSS, our focus will be more on one-day activities as opposed to ‘seasons,’” said Gross.

The department’s regular sports competition schedule has been affected by Super Typhoon Yutu, which slammed Saipan and Tinian late October or just a few days after the girls high school volleyball season was completed and less than a week before the finals of the junior varsity high school basketball was to be played. Both the volleyball and basketball matches were hosted at the Marianas High School Gymnasium, which was also hit by Yutu.

“The MHS Gymnasium houses many different sporting activities, but is currently unavailable due to the damages sustained from Yutu. We are currently addressing those damages and preparing for the opening of classes next week. Hopwood will use the facility in the morning and MHS in the afternoon, but some of the court will be closed to activities while we work to repair damages. Overall, the gym weathered the storm well and will be back online in its full capacity, soon,” the athletic director said.

Gross added that the middle school basketball playoffs will no longer be played, but activities will be available for students, beginning next year.

“We’ve elected to forgo completing them due to the loss of venues and the sheer amount of time that has elapsed. Our No. 1 concern for the month of December is to resume classes, conduct mental health assessments/support, and assist our students and the community in the recovery process. As January approaches, I’ll be sure to keep the community updated with our athletic programs and the opportunities that will be available to our youth,” Gross said.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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