The 11-team Founders League, which is a part of the New England Prep School Athletic Conference, recently announced it will not hold athletic competition this fall, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Founders League issued a statement regarding the fall season on July 15.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and after many discussions prioritizing community health, safety and well-being, the Founders league has unanimously and with great regret, decided to cancel all Founders League interscholastic competition for the fall 2020 season.”
The Founders League includes Avon Old Farms, Choate Rosemary Hall, Ethel Walker School, The Hotchkiss School, Kent School, Kingswood Oxford School, Loomis Chaffee, Miss Porter’s School, The Taft School, Trinity-Pawling School, and Westminster School.
During the football season, Founders League teams Avon Old Farms, Hotchkiss, Kent, Taft and Trinity-Pawling have competed in the Erickson League.
Comprised of eight teams, the Erickson football league also included Brunswick School, Salisbury School and Williston-Northampton. However, Brunswick, Salisbury and Williston-Northampton are not part of the Erickson league anymore.
Brunswick, Salisbury and Williston-Northampton made the move to the newly-formed Northeast Prep Conference this past winter. The Northeast Prep Conference includes Brunswick, Salisbury, Williston-Northampton, Cheshire Academy, Deerfield Academy, Phillips Andover Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, The Hunn School, Wyoming Seminary, Worcester Academy and Suffield Academy.
Mike Hannigan, who coached Brunswick to victory over Governor’s Academy in the NEPSAC Todd Marble Bowl in 2019, said his Bruins were still going to play Avon Old Farms and Trinity-Pawling this fall.
“Those are two great games for us,” said Hanningan, whose Bruins registered a record of 8-2 last season. “To lose those two games, which has become a tradition for us to play those games, is disappointing.”
Hannigan said his Brunswick program is running an abbreviated preseason.
“We are running a skills-based program at the outset, while keeping with our social distancing and other guidelines,” Hannigan said. “There are 10 eams in our league, so we are hoping to salvage enough of a season. Hopefully, we can have a bunch of good games, but we want to put the students’ health and safety first, while following guidelines.”
In other sports, opponents of the Founders League teams will have to find other opponents to compete against to fill out their respective fall schedules.
The Taft football team issued a statement recently on Twitter: “We acknowledge the decision by the Founders League to cancel the fall 2020 fall athletic season in order to support our community health and well being. We are confident that we can continue to provide training and support to our student athletes this fall. This is a difficult time for all, but there are better days ahead. When the time is right and it is safe to play, we will be ready.”
Choate Rosemary Hall, traditionally a strong football team, said on Twitter: “Tough circumstances for the fall. Our hearts go out to all the people that have been affected by this pandemic.”