Senior Athletes Express the Loss of their Season due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Rosa Morales, Copy Editor

Senior year, and the season that comes along with it, is usually the year that every athlete looks forward to. By this point in time, senior athletes are extremely skilled and competent in their position and role on the team. They have become leaders, role models, to the underclassmen. They understand what it takes to be motivated and driven enough to be successful and win but have also experienced the feeling of defeat after a hard-fought game. However, not many have faced a loss as sudden as the one caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

“I was really just looking forward to going out in the most positive way possible,” Nick Winston, a senior on the baseball team, said. “I was hoping we’d make the conference tournament as well as hoping I could have my best personal season.”  

Winston isn’t the only one who came into their last spring season with this kind of hope. Senior athletes throughout Averett expressed the same positivity for their season, wanting nothing but the best for themselves and their team as they pursued a conference championship title.  

Abby Taylor, a member of the women’s lacrosse team since their inaugural season in 2018, expressed that she had been looking forward to her team making its way back to the USA South Championship game in hopes of “winning a ring” after finishing in second place last year.  

After spending so many hours preparing in the fall with their teams, seniors are not only parting with their sport early, but also with their teammates and coaches. These are individuals that have made lasting impressions on the seniors, regardless of how long they might have known one another.  

“I was looking forward to playing with my best friends for one last year,” Mallory Griffiths, a senior on the softball team, said.  

Many, if not all, were unaware that the last game that they stepped on the pitch, court, or field with their teammates was going to be their last.  

Once the outbreak of the coronavirus became more serious in nearby areas, the Averett community decided it would be best to send students home and end any form of face-to-face contact. This included class lectures as well as extracurriculars, such as sporting events and club gatherings. This was done gradually in the span of a week, but it hit student-athletes especially hard. 

“Yes some [students] may be happy that school is over for the rest of the semester, but they have to remember what other people are going through and losing,” Taylor said.  

Even before it was officially announced, students were pushing and celebrating for no longer having to go to classes.  

“I don’t think people really realize what they have until it’s ripped from you,” Griffiths said. 

Even though things might not have gone to plan for the seniors this year, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAAhas granted all athletes affected by the Covid-19 pandemic another season of eligibility.  

Prior to our season ending I had no intentions of staying and getting my master’s degree at Averett, however now that I have another year of eligibility it is something that I’m seriously going to have to consider,” Winston said in response to the announcement.  

While some athletes are still undecided on committing to returning, Griffiths has solidified her decision. She is prepared to return to Averett in the fall to continue her studies and play collegiate softball one last time once the spring season comes around. 

I believe that this event has made me understand a few things. It has made me understand to never take things for granted, whether it is people or playing a sport,” Griffiths said. It has also made me realize how much of a family the Averett softball team is. We have grown closer through all of this and I know we will come out even stronger for next year. 

Taylor and Winston are among the athletes who are not entirely sure of what they want to do with their eligibility once they graduate. However, they are both heavily considering the option to return for another season.  

“Treat every day like it’s the last and really appreciate the entire experience because, we just learned, you never know when it can be taken away for good without any kind of warning,” Winston said.