Spring athletes struggle through the cancellation of their seasons

written by Jessie Stevens

     Due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, businesses shut down, schools closed, and the virus spread. Everyone was advised by healthcare professionals and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb to stay inside their homes and practice social distancing. In addition to these education facilities, businesses, and other non-essential shops around the Clarksville area, spring athletes also experienced the effects of the coronavirus.

     During spring, softball, baseball, girls tennis, and boys golf would be in action. Since the school year was cancelled, athletes are experiencing a new kind of loss. On April 2, the IHSAA cancelled the entire spring sports season. They have endured a season without practices, games, bonding time with their teammates and coaches, and for some, no goodbyes as they finish out the last season of their high school career. On top of this, with the gyms closed, athletes are struggling with not knowing what to do and not knowing how to still keep their skills sharp.

     “I’m sad that I won’t get my freshman season, I won’t be able to play with my older brother, Webster, and I have to wait for my first official highschool game,” said freshman Carter Walls. “I’m doing what I can whether it’s throwing with my brothers, hitting in the cage, taking fly balls, working on other basic fundamentals, or just working out and getting stronger and faster.”

     The spring of 2020 was to be Carter Walls’ first high school baseball game. He was looking forward to being able to play with his siblings, Casey Walls, Webster Walls and Chandler Jones. His brother, Webster, is graduating this year. Therefore, he won’t be able to experience his brothers last game and may never play alongside him. When school was called off for the rest of the year, that took a toll on him. Regardless of these events, he and his siblings are still practicing their skills together

     Freshman Caden Owens was going to run track this spring, but that all changed due to the pandemic. Although, being home gives Owens the opportunity to work on her skills and stay in shape. “I was looking forward to having more people as friends,” said Owens. 

     Hoping to resume softball this season after an injury kept her sidelined last season, junior Kylie Perez was looking forward to starting the season.  “I’ve played little league with a lot of the seniors and was glad I was given the opportunity to be able to play with them one last time. Now that the season is cancelled I’m genuinely so sad that I’m never going to play with them again,” Perez said.

     Perez has not been able to play softball again for the second year in a row due to a herniated disc and sciatic nerve damage. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), a herniated disc is when a part of the nucleus from inside the disc seeps out into the spinal canal, thus pushing against spinal nerves and causing pain. Sciatic nerve damage is damage in the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the toes. This causes trouble with knee functions and possible pain from the lower back and down. It took a great deal of time before Perez was cleared to play. Not being able to play softball, after finally being cleared left her sad to be missing out. 

     Hoping to play golf this season for the Generals was freshman Ethan Neal. “I’m neutral about it. I wasn’t mad we didn’t get to play, but I wouldn’t say I was happy either…it has no real effect on me,” Neal said.

     While sports fans and athletes alike miss watching and playing sports, this break hasn’t been a complete setback for the Generals’. With the extra time at home, CHS athletes can take advantage of this time off to become a better player and teammate while staying at home safely. 

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