Crusaders keep heads up after CIF shuts down season amid COVID-19 concerns


The Crusader

The doors to Crusader Forum remain closed since the March 6 forced forfeit of the basketball playoff game because of the coronavirus.

Cameron Bevan-Abel ‘22, Sports Editor

Clark named SF Regional Player of the Year; Monroe to first team all Metro honors; Seck an honorable mention.

The Archbishop Riordan Varsity basketball team had one of its best seasons this school has ever had in the 2019-2020 season. The team finished with a record of 23-5, 11-3 in conference play, and a WCAL title in a three-way tie with Bellarmine and Archbishop Mitty.

The Crusaders came into the CIF Central Coast Section Playoffs as the number 2 seed but lost in the first round to St. Francis. 

Riordan somehow still managed to earn themselves a number one seed and home court advantage in the Division 1 state playoffs. The Crusaders cruised against Modesto Christian and a powerful fourth quarter surge led to a victory against Vanden. 

De La Salle was set to be their next opponent but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Archbishop Riordan had to forfeit the game. 

It was a heartbreaking end to a magnificent season. Coach Joey Curtin explained, “It all happened so fast. We were coming off exciting back to back wins and everyone on the team was contributing. We were clicking at the right time and it was shocking how it all ended.”

The pandemic eventually caused the whole D1 playoffs to end before it reached the championship game, which would have been between Campolindo and Ribet Academy.

The CIF released this statement, “Effective Immediately – The California Interscholastic Federation (“CIF”) has canceled all remaining CIF State Basketball Championship games. This includes regional finals scheduled for March 12, 2020, and the CIF State finals scheduled for March 13- 14, 2020 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. This decision was made after careful deliberation and in the primary interest of protecting the health and safety of our member schools, fans, and most importantly, our student-athletes.” 

This is definitely not the way anyone a part of the team would have wanted it to end, especially for the seniors not getting to play any more games for Riordan. 

“It was sad to hear that the season had ended after our canceled game because I miss my guys and we got really close. It would have been good to win a state ring together,” explained guard Mark Barer 22.

After the season ended, the WCAL announced guard Je’Lani Clark 20 as the WCAL co-player of the year, along with guard Bryce Monroe 20, earning All-WCAL 1st team honors and center Mor Seck 22 earning All-WCAL 2nd team honors.

Je’Lani Clark ‘20 was named SF Regional Player of the year; Bryce Monroe ‘20 first team all metro honors; Mor Seck ‘22 an honorable mention.

 “The team will be distinctly different next season, but I have high hopes for them. We have several good players coming back who will make an impact,” Curtin said, and expressed his hopes for next season saying, “I’m excited to see them shock a lot of people next season. They will do great.”