One of the worst feelings in life is having something taken away from you to no fault of your own.
Unfortunately, this is the reality that dozens of high school senior athletes across the area are feeling right now as the recent spread of the coronavirus has postponed prep sports across the commonwealth.
And while it’s not been announced as of press time of this column, it seems all but certain that Kentucky high school sports will not return in the 2019-20 school year. That’s almost inevitable at this point.
Sure, these student-athletes knew that many of their athletic careers would come to an end in May, but to have their endings to their careers and senior seasons taken away from them abruptly is a terrible feeling. I cannot imagine how they must be feeling right now.
So, I decided that this week’s column should be devoted to them and their sacrifices they have made over the last four years.
Once upon a time, I was a senior athlete at Monroe County High School. Once our basketball season came to an end at my senior year, I couldn’t even begin to describe the sadness I felt when I realized I was no longer a high school athlete.
I at least had the luxury of playing that season out. I got to experience that ending to my journey as an athlete, and I’ve learned to easily live with it.
But to not even get the chance to finish things out with their teammates and experience their own endings is beyond unfair for these seniors.
Of course, life isn’t fair. I really hate that old saying, but all too often it shows itself to be true. The actions being taken to combat this terrible virus are all necessary, but that does not make things any easier for these seniors.
Some people may think being a high school athlete is easy, but those individuals have obviously never experienced the countless hours of training and practice that these seniors have put in over their lives to become the best athlete they could possibly be.
For many smaller schools across the area, their sports teams are the brightest ray of hope that counties and small towns have to cherish. Therefore, one cannot underestimate the impact that no sports will have on their communities.
As a senior, there is no greater pride then getting to represent your school, town, or county. That’s a feeling that so many baseball, softball, tennis, and track and field athletes will not have this spring.
But that doesn’t mean their hard work was for nothing.
This column isn’t going to change the current circumstances even a little bit. In fact, I question just how useful these words are going to be for any of those seniors out there reading this.
However, they deserve to be recognized for their hard work and sacrifices through years of waiting for their biggest season as an athlete.
Therefore, I would like to personally say ‘thank you’ to those seniors who will not get their last season.
While KHSAA doesn’t have the rosters for area track and field and tennis teams, I do have available to me baseball and softball rosters of schools within the Daily Times’ coverage area: Barren County, Glasgow, Monroe County, Caverna, Metcalfe County and Allen County-Scottsville. If I leave any players out, it was because I went off the rosters on KHSAA.com.
So without further ado, I would like to extend a genuine ‘thank you’ to the following athletes.
From Barren County High School: Merrik Coulter, Mason Gillion, Jacob Jones and Nate Simpson.
From Glasgow High School: Tanner Abernathy, Justin Coop, Jaden Franklin, Lucas Goodson, Tucker Kirkpatrick, Nik Sorrell, Weston Widen, Autumn Copass, Ella Darst and Macy Wilkerson.
From Caverna High School: Drew Rhodes, Parker Roarx, Spencer Shirley, Tarron Spears, Mark Webb, Kayla Booker, Stacia Burnett, Yasmeen Carver, McKeeya Faulkner, Amayah Nolley and Molly Townsend.
From Monroe County High School: Kale Hagan, Caulyn Holbrook, Jonah Jenkins, Grayson Rich, Wade Thompson, Brylee Pickerell and Melanie Thurman.
From Metcalfe County High School: Braxton Davis, Dillion Lee, Daniel Pierce, Elizabeth Decker, Marisa Fields and Kylie Milam.
From Allen County-Scottsville High School: Tanner McPeak, Owen Stamper, Zane Ward, Kaylee Bullington, Allie Byrn, Maddie Gregory, Maggie Sadler, Hailey Scott and Amber Wimpee.
This was the absolute least I could do. For your future endeavors past high school, I will leave you all with this quote by Rainer Maria Rilke:
“Let everything happen to you / Beauty and terror / Just keep going / No feeling is final.”