I don’t really know what to say this week.
Normally, I try to stay upbeat and positive. Right now, I can’t really do that.
Because I’m mad. I’m disappointed. I’m hurt.
Let me say this from the jump: The coronavirus is serious business. We need to do all we can to help prevent the spread of the virus. Social distancing and whatnot are important measures in times like these.
Even though I can understand and agree with all of that, I’m still allowed to be upset. My work schedule was completely flipped on its head last week when our area’s schools decided to temporarily suspend sports activities. I don’t really have anything to do now.
This column is not about me, though. It’s about the student-athletes in our area.
I absolutely hate this situation for their sakes. Their lives are completely interrupted at this moment. They can’t go to school and interact with their teachers and friends. They can’t officially practice or play their respective sports, either.
I’ve gotten to know many of our teams’ current players very well over the last few years. My heart goes out to them, but especially the seniors.
They don’t deserve to have their final year of high school get twisted around. They don’t deserve to miss their proms, senior nights, graduations or final playoff opportunities. It just isn’t fair.
This past week, I interviewed a few players for a story you can find this week in our sports section. I asked them about their reactions to the spring sports stoppages and they did not hold back. They are all crushed.
I could hear the disappointment in their voices. They’re hurting. And keep in mind these student-athletes I spoke with – Kelli Stevens (LOA soccer), Seth Robertson (MOCO track/baseball) and Sean Brown (NGA baseball) – are among the toughest in Lake Country. And we’ve got some tough kids around these parts. I encourage you to go read their thoughtful, in-depth words. (There are others quoted in the story, too. Those are just the ones I interviewed verbally.)
I wished them all the best and told them I sincerely hope I get to attend one of their games again really, really soon. However, the reality of our nation’s predicament probably means that won’t happen.
Odds are, I have witnessed Seth play baseball for the last time. Odds are, watching Sean almost single-handedly beat up Rock Springs a couple of weeks ago will go down as my final opportunity to watch him play. Odds are, I have seen the end of Kelli’s career, which featured me covering how she imposed her dominance year-round, as the skilled overall athlete she is, through softball, basketball and soccer for the entirety of her high school years.
This all just breaks my heart.
The young men and women I get to feature in our sports section each week are some of the best young people you will ever encounter. There are not enough positive things I could say about them.
The fact that their plans and hopes for this semester are put on hold or will be canceled is surely a tough pill to swallow. If you happen to be in contact with any of them at some point, I hope you will offer encouraging words. I can’t even imagine how they must feel right now.
We have numerous spring sports teams that were destined for great things this year.
Here’s a brief list of things that could have happened: Morgan baseball could have won a region title; LOA boys and girls soccer could have repeated as region champs and made deep playoff runs again; LOA golf could have once gain won state titles; Greene track could have repeated as a state champ; Greene boys soccer could have been in the playoffs again; NGA baseball could have made another playoff appearance.I’ll stop there.
All of this is totally up in the air as of this writing on Tuesday afternoon.
Those are big things that the involved coaches and athletes have dreamt of for a long time. This crisis snatched the opportunity to experience those dreams out of their hands.
Now, they likely stand on a field of broken dreams.