Cougar athletes hoping for chance to compete this fall
last official game played with my teammates graduating the following year — our year. I would have spent every second of those six hours hugging the girls who, my entire life, taught me how to love and succeed in the game of softball.
And now, it isn’t even safe to hug people in 2020.
On April 9 of this year, our team, anticipating another shot at a state title, was informed that we wouldn’t even get the chance due to COVID-19. Now, hearing “all spring sports are canceled” is my worst life experience. Although I still have next softball season, it will never be the same without Aleah Kost, Kaitlynn Peters, Marissa Trivelpiece, and Tiana Treon as my teammates.
It’s August now, and I am going into my senior year with my last soccer season in jeopardy. With the virus still spreading, some have pitched the idea of moving fall sports to the spring season. This would force me to choose between soccer and softball. As I am a goalkeeper and a pitcher, asking me to make that decision is asking me which team I want to leave stranded. That is quite some pressure for a 17-year old with an equal love for both sports.
If fall sports proceed as (almost) normal, fans may not be allowed to attend. This means that my friends and family would never get to see me play soccer one last time, and that I would never get to hear the boys’ soccer team cheer for us again; my heart is heavy with the thought of that, but it’s better than never playing soccer again myself.
It is unclear how fall sports will pan out, and this uncertainty only adds to the stressful start of my senior year. Sports usually relieve my anxieties, but now they are at the center of them. Hopefully, a safe way to compete in the fall is accomplished. I just want to save one last shot and sing one last song with my girls.
However, if I don’t get these opportunities, I am beyond thankful that I had them in the past. My longstanding teammates have shaped me into the person that I am today, and I hope I have returned the same smiles they have given to me all of these years.
For me, along with many other runners across our league and on my team, cross country is more than just miles on top of miles. My five years of running have made me the person that I am today. I’ve found new friends, not only from my team, that have pushed me to reach new levels in my athletic career.
To me, being able to have these people to support me has shown me that with the right people in my life, I can achieve things I never would have imagined to be possible.
Without a senior season, I feel like I will never be able to show my true potential as an athlete or a team leader at the high school level. Whether it was being with my team on long runs, leading stretches or just long bus rides to invitationals, being able to bond with my teammates and create strong friendships is truly what made all of the painful runs and workouts worth it.
Missing out on opportunities like these, if the season is canceled, would be very disappointing.
After being involved with high school fall sports for the past three years, I never would have thought there would be a chance of my last season being canceled.
Right now I am grateful that the PIAA is doing everything they could to continue fall sports this year, although it will not be a season like every other year. Would I prefer it happening this way? Absolutely not, but it’s so much better than it not happening at all.
In the end, I hope that all of the other senior fall athletes, including myself, will be able to have a fun, yet safe season.
Sports are important for so many reasons and one of those reasons is college.
Due to COVID, I’ve lost my junior year of lacrosse and I face losing my senior year of field hockey season. This time is so important for colleges to recruit players, and not being able to play makes that 10 times harder.
Ever since my freshman year, I made a goal to earn a varsity letter all four years in both field hockey and lacrosse. Luckily, I was able to letter last season in lacrosse, but without a field hockey season that goal will soon be crushed.
Sports not only have an effect on you physically, but also mentally. A lot of kids use sports as an escape and a way to get out and make friends.
My senior year of field hockey is so important to me because it will be the last time I’ll be playing with the girls I have been playing with since we were in seventh grade. Without a season I will never get those lasting memories with my team and my coaches.
I am truly optimistic about the upcoming 2020 season. We have lots of talent back in both the skilled and line positions. I feel that we as players, head coach Dennis Buchman and our other coaches, athletic trainers, along with other staff members have done our absolute best to avoid contracting COVID-19.
These are unprecedented times in the state and in our country, but we are doing our best to make it normal. There’s nothing we can do as players or coaches other than to stay positive and hope for the best. I just can’t imagine not having a senior season.
The friendships I have made throughout the years will last a lifetime. I would consider all of my coaches and teammates my family. Although we cannot look at the negative aspects of what is going on in the world, we have to look at the positives. I fully trust the PIAA and other committees to make the best decision ensuring we are safe throughout the season.
Football touches the heart of many, not just the team and coaches. I really cannot imagine our senior year without the game of football.
Many athletes in the area, including myself, have been looking forward to this season of fall sports as a way to escape from this bizarre reality we are currently facing.
My teammates and I were greatly disappointed when we heard the governor’s recommendation to postpone fall sports until Jan. 1. We were looking forward to growing our team as we have for the past three years. We have gone from a bottom-of-the-barrel team to a top league contender in two years, and we wish to continue that success.
His recommendation was a stab in the back to all of the student-athletes who were preparing to get back to a somewhat normal schedule in the following months. Many upperclassmen have had their plans to play at the collegiate level sidetracked. With the release of Governor Wolf’s suggestion, are losing hope for their senior season.
We hope that PIAA can make the best decision for student-athletes, while also holding safety to the highest standard.
The COVID- 19 pandemic has affected every person in the United States differently. Those who suffered from the illness and watched loved ones fight their battle have everyone’s prayers and thoughts of love. The Class of 2020 graduated with no finality and never was graced with the opportunity to say goodbye properly to the hometown and school they had known and loved for the past four years. But, the graduates of 2020 whom I have had the pleasure of knowing will surely make the most of the next phase of their lives.
As a member of the graduating Class of 2021, I am praying to have some sense of normalcy during my senior year. Golf has always been my outlet to escape from the pressures of school and the inevitable stress of the year of college applications and standardized tests to come.
I thoroughly understand the concerns the PIAA and Governor Wolf have in letting fall sports commence, but as a senior who has been given the honor of being the co-captain of the Lady Cougars golf team this year, it is heartbreaking to think I will not be able to have a year to show my ability to lead a team which has given me a family and endless memories for the last four years.
I am a four-year starter and varsity letterman of the girls’ golf team and my score counted toward our teams’ total at the PIAA state championship tournament the last two years.
Personally, last season was frustrating for me. I lost the District 2 championship in a playoff to my own teammate and missed qualifying for the individual state championship tournament by three strokes. This season is my opportunity to have one final memory, because I am not planning on playing competitively in college.
In addition, I have met my best friends through golf. The camaraderie and love which I have been granted will stay rooted in my heart for the rest of my life. I feel like our journey is not complete. Just once more I would love to look across the aisle of the bus to see my teammates donning the scarlet and silver of Hazleton Area High School and share one more piece of pizza while sitting side by side, laughing.