Missing Spring Sports: Seniors Savor Last Moments
By Julia Beiler, Sports editor
Springtime is filled with blooming flowers, rainy days, and rising temperatures. With the start of new life is also the start of spring sports all across high schools. Student athletes prepare through the long winter to be ready for their spring sport to finally begin.
For seniors, this is the year that they will most likely remember forever. This is their last year of high school and participating on a high school level. For those who won’t be playing on a collegiate level, their high school careers as an athlete will be coming to an end. The Senior Season is something that is special to those athletes, something that they will remember forever, and memories that will last a lifetime.
Although senior seasons should be a glorious and unforgettable time, this year’s seniors are facing upset as schools have closed for the remainder of the year.
The recent COVID-19 outbreak is the result of sports seasons getting cut short. On April 9, PIAA announced that the spring and winter sports season ended for the remainder of the 2019-2020 year. This took in effect after Governor Tom Wolf declared that schools were closed to in-person learning for the rest of the school year.
Disappointed seniors all across high schools are facing the fact that they will never get their last practice, their last game, their last bus ride, and they won’t get their senior nights.
Dedication and commitment has gone into preparing for the season to begin, and it has all been washed away for so many student athletes. For those athletes that have been doing their sports for a long time and worked so hard for so many years, are now feeling the pain of not earning their senior season.
“Senior year is what you look forward to,” senior Kaiya Edwards said. “We had a really good group of girls this year and we can’t get to play with them.”
Kaiya Edwards has been playing lacrosse since the fifth grade. In those seven years of playing, never did she think that her senior year playing for Red Lion would not happen because of a global pandemic.
One of the values of the spring season, according to Athletic Director, Mr. Arnold Fritzius, is for scouts to check out up-and-coming athletes.
“There would have been some volleyball coaches coming out to see the boys play this spring to see ‘Is Johnny as good as they says he is’ or “Should we take a shot a Jimmy…everyone says he can set, but we’ve never seen it,’” Fritzius said. “[Coaches] are pretty sure of what they think, but for them to come to a Northeastern or Central volleyball game and see kids play at their highest level, they might take a chance on somebody.”
Nothing was set in stone for this season. There was no way of knowing how successful each team would be, but they never got to prove their worth this year.
“We don’t know if lacrosse was going to have a good season,” Fritzius said. “We don’t know how well baseball, or volleyball, or track was going to be, but it doesn’t matter. We wanted to let those kids have a chance to compete and see if they could beat some teams they aren’t supposed to beat and beat some teams they were supposed to beat. But now they lose that chance.”
Schools want to honor their senior sports players. At Red Lion, Fritzius is working hard with other athletic directors across the state to find a way to show admiration for the seniors at Red Lion. “Nobody has a clear-cut answer to what we’re going to do, but all we know we’re going to do something,”
This isn’t just something that is affecting these certain seniors, coaches and administration are seeing the pain the sports seniors are going through and they want to do something for them, even if they don’t know what that will be yet.
“We are all just talking about what can we do to send these kids off with as good of a send-off as we possibly can,” Fritzius said.
Something that can be taken away from this worldwide pandemic is you are never guaranteed another game or another practice. No one ever knows what just might happen tomorrow.
“Appreciate the four years,” Edwards said. “Because you never know when your last high school game will be.”