COVID-19, EDITORIAL, SPORTS — April 6, 2020 at 6:49 pm

[Opinion] High school spring sports seasons cut short due to COVID-19, leaving seniors disappointed

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Senior Abby Dowd plays in home softball game against Cooper City High School on March 11 at 6:30 p.m. This was the last game of the 2020 season for the girl’s softball team before the cancellation of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Taylor Yon

As we put our daily lives on hold, so many amazing events we senior spring athletes were looking forward to having have been canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been playing with these teams for four years now, watching as the upperclassmen have the opportunity to enjoy the bittersweet moments that come with senior year, like senior night for example where we are supposed to be honored for our time as high school athletes. 

As the spring sports had finally begun, we were just figuring out how to lead our teams as seniors. We thought we had time before we were done with it forever. Some of my teammates are not going to play college softball and played their last competitive game without knowing, or finding out on the bus ride there. Few are lucky enough to compete at the next level, but most senior athletes were expecting to have their last year to showcase their abilities to college coaches in hopes of getting recruited. Now, those athletes are left with no chance to prove themselves.

Personally, I gravitated toward high school softball because it was what I played with my best friend. We had played together for six years but parted to different travel softball teams, so playing for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was where we got to do our thing together. Luckily enough, attending the same high school, we were able to commit to colleges together and sign our national letters of intent by each other’s side. However, we wanted a little more time on the field we love before we graduated and parted ways for college.

It’s devastating and disappointing. We are being stripped of our senior year sports, and possibly our prom dance, final interactions at school and even graduation. Season cancellation is one of the biggest blows the class of 2020 has taken when it comes to COVID-19 precautions. I didn’t say bye to Coach Elliot Bonner. We understand that the COVID-19 outbreak is much more important, but this loss is not easy. College seniors were granted another year of eligibility by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, http://www.ncaa.org/, which is great, but high school students will not be extended that opportunity. I am not saying I think they should do that though, I understand why our season came to an end, and some of us still have college to play.

I have not had many normal years of high school, so I guess you could say I am not surprised. I am upset because I know I will, and already do, miss the small things the most.

For one, I had an ongoing joke with a security monitor, Stan Fraser. One day, I asked him how he drinks his coffee, and he laughed and told me. As I come walking into practice the next day, he laughs and asks, “Where’s my coffee?” I looked at him all serious and said, “I didn’t say I was going to get you one, I just asked how you like it.” It took me a couple of weeks until I finally got that poor man a coffee, but it was before our last home game that I did. Fraser wanted to come down to the games and take pictures of us for his photography class, but with everything going on, there were no more games for Fraser to take pictures of, and now I’m sure he no longer has a photography class.

I am lucky enough to continue to play the sport I love for another four years, but was nevertheless upset and shed my fair share of tears after my last high school game. All of us senior spring athletes wish we did not have to leave our season unfinished, and wish we got to experience our senior night and the chance to get to compete at district or state championships one last time. We wanted the memories more than anything and we have no choice but to accept what has happened. 

Abby Dowd

Abby Dowd is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She has been on the Eagle Eye staff for 3 years. She is also on the Varsity softball team and has been for 4 years and is verbally committed to Ave Maria to play softball in college.

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