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July 6, 2020

5/29/2020 8:58:00 AM
The season that wasn't
J. Patrick Reilly

Working on this 2020 Spring Sports Supplement made me realize how much I miss the spring season.
I mean, I really miss it.
We all have our favorite sport in the, or softball, or soccer, or track and field, or golf. It makes no difference which one. We all missed it.
We wait through the cold months, the dreary days, taking on the challenges presented us by winter. We know that by mid-February those warm, sunny days of watching games in spring and summer clothing are right around the corner.
But not this year.
This year our nation is nearly 100,000 less in population because of the Corona Virus (COID-19) and thousands more have had but have survived the disease. We have had to shut down businesses, shelter at home and school activities were halted at a spring break from which we did not return.
The students and coaches mentioned in the supplement had their 2020 season taken from them. For the seniors it has been a loss of their final season and while it is painful for them it also tugs at the heart of their coaches who have watched them grow and their teammates who were looking forward to pushing themselves a little harder to have a successful year for the seniors.
Closing schools and ending seasons was the right decision, but it was also a collective heartbreak. The kids, especially the seniors, deserve better but in this case better was not possible.
It has been said that sports are important to growth of kids who participate because it teaches you how to deal with not always placing first. In baseball and softball you can fail seven out of 10 at bats and still be considered a good hitter. In track, you can finish tenths of a second out of first place. In golf, you can shoot par and someone can come in one under.
This season, no one was able to finish first or get that hit or sink that putt. But it was still a season of learning.
Kids were asked to stay in shape, to do drills at home and be ready if some sort of season happens. Kids were checked on to see how they were doing mentally. Kids were encouraged to keep up with their school work.
In a way, that is winning or at least not losing because many people showed they care about what the kids were forced to go through.
We could not let the season go without acknowledging those who had put their name on the list to come out...those who took part in open gyms or trained on their own one way or another. This won't be a season that happened, but we are still able to recognize that many kids wanted to compete and that the cancelation of the season is still history. Unfortunately it was not the history we were hoping for.
Perhaps the biggest lesson to take away from this is, you never know how much you miss something until it is taken away from you.
When you get back to some sort of athletic normalcy, take advantage of what you have and play like there is no tomorrow, because in this case tomorrow never came.

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