This is it, my junior season. The season I’ve been waiting for my whole life. The most important season of a high school athlete’s career. I’ve invested the last 10 years of my life. I’ve been training, getting my body ready, and preparing not only physically, but mentally for this moment. This year will put me on college’s radar. Some colleges are already contacting me. Things are looking great. Everything is finally going to be worth it. I’m finally ready to step out on that field and give it my all. Except, the universe has different plans. It wants me to play a different game, one with no instructions.
The universe has us playing a game we never got to practice for. It’s team humanity versus team pandemic and team pandemic is winning. Each player randomly gets called up to bat without having any understanding of the pitch that is about to be thrown and we’re left praying we aren’t called up next. We are up against the coronavirus, the best pitcher there is. The rules of a regular game don’t apply here, though. There are no timeouts, breaks, or innings, there is no pause at all, it’s an ongoing game and we are nowhere near the end.
I feel so many mixed emotions. I feel sad, mad, frustrated, even powerless over my own future. I feel like everything I’ve worked for was just pulled out from under me, like everything I’ve done was a complete waste of my time. I almost feel heart broken, with softball being my first love. Going a full year without playing is truly heartbreaking. However, it’s not just softball players that were robbed of a season it is also baseball, track, and many more.
Miguel Fresse, a Junior baseball player at UACHS, feels as though he was robbed of his most important season.
“This deeply affects my future because I wanted to play in the big leagues and if the scouts don’t see how I did my junior year it’s bad, said Fresse. Not only did I miss a year of baseball, but it was the most important year.”
According to USA Today, “Your junior year in high school is probably the most critical year in your recruiting journey. This is the year to set the stage to connect with college coaches and the year to be seen.”
Amy Tlatelpa, a Junior at UACHS and captain of the track/cross country team thinks that the loss of this season has set us back.
“Junior year is the year that is most observed by colleges, so it does affect my future,” said Tlatelpa. “School has been canceled, and so has this season so it makes it a bit more difficult now that we have to catch up to the achievements we could’ve made this year.”
This is the year to set the stage to connect with college coaches and the year to be seen. Many student athletes train for their junior season from the moment they start playing. Some spend the whole year prior to their junior season training.
“I was ready to play my heart out this season. I practiced and played in other leagues throughout the whole summer.” said Fresse.
This season has slipped out of our hands and we can’t do anything about it. With schools not reopening this school year, we are forced to end with no season, no closure, no wins, and no recruitments.