For the past four years, the last month of summer has always brought me the most joy. It is not because I went to the beach, the pool or even on a road trip. Instead, it was starting the school volleyball season.
Stepping into the gym with all of my closest friends, has gotten me through many trials and tribulations. Our lives are constantly changing, and volleyball has always been one of the few things that I could look forward to being there for the next two years before I graduate. That, unfortunately, did not look like the case the past few months.
I was not alone in my frustration. The new normal is masks and social distancing, which makes sports especially difficult. Being an athlete and knowing there is a chance you will not have people in the stands is difficult to fathom. The fans cheering you on and shouting your name is an indescribable feeling that no one might get to experience this year.
As an athlete, being told that you might not have a sports season is upsetting, especially for senior athletes who could possibly miss out on their last high school career season. Many senior athletes are trying to keep an optimistic attitude and keep that sense of hope instilled in them during this time.
Nash Allen, a senior baseball player, is experiencing this as well. When asked how he feels about potentially losing his senior season, his response was, “It’s tough. I am trying to stay optimistic and believe that they will let us play, but we all know there is a chance that will not happen. Losing my junior year was tough enough, but if I was to lose my season too, it would be very heartbreaking.”
With a heavy heart, many seniors are having to accept the fate that they might not ever step onto another court, field, mat or track again. Not only are athletes facing not getting to play, but they are also missing out on building connections with their teammates. A team is strong and well-rounded when the players have built personal relationships with each other. Sophie Brown, a senior volleyball player can attest to this personally.
“It has been difficult because gyms are closed and since school is out we cannot practice with our teammates, and get a good connection with them when the season starts,” Brown said. Another issue that some athletes are facing are those trying to play in college. So, for them, they might still get a season after high school. The problem without having a season is that it will make it more difficult for them to get noticed by scouts.
“I can still go pitch in front of coaches if they want me to, but how do I get my name out there? It definitely plays a role in the recruiting process,” Allen said
Playing after high school is a common goal among athletes, and they are trying to stay positive that colleges will notice them despite the uncertainty of the upcoming sports seasons. Student athletes are having to remain optimistic and hopeful that they will get one last ride. The delayed and possibly canceled sports season, has taken a toll on the usual excitement for senior year. Student athletes, and especially the seniors, deserve this season, and we need to make sure we are doing all we can to get them competing again. Even if it is for one last ride.
By: Tayler Lyles, Feature Writer