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Covid-19 Dead Period: Part 2

Sophia Boone

Tennis and Track teams across the state, as well as baseball and softball, typically begin practicing in February with games and meets beginning in mid-March. However, with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) enforcing a dead period due to the Covid-19 (Corona Virus) Pandemic, and later canceling the 2020 spring sports season entirelly, coaches and players of spring sports, though disappointed, begin to plan for next year. That is, except for the seniors.

Based upon the KHSAA’s decision to cancel spring sports, Beech Tree News (BTN) asked Butler County High School senior athletes impacted by the unexpected changes to their final season of BC sports, to share their thoughts. A previous article featured BCHS softball and baseball seniors, while this article highlights BCHS track and tennis. 

“I am very thankful for the successful indoor season we had this year. The indoor season makes it feel like I still had a track season. I do miss my coaches, my teammates, practices, and the meets.” Autumn Jenkins, senior track athlete, says. “I know that the community supports the graduating class as well as the rest of the students and that satisfies me. I know there are many people working diligently on ways for us to still have some of the normal milestones. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.”

Autumn continues, “I have tried to stay positive about it. I am definitely enjoying the extra time I get to spend with my mom and dad. This change of pace will do everyone good and will help us all figure out our priorities. I think this extra time at home probably helps the Seniors in some ways. I love it that I don’t have to get up super early to get ready for school anymore; I can get the extra rest if I need it and work on my school work at any time during the day.”

She cautions about spending too much time indoors though. “Being inside all day can kind of get you in a mood so to counter that I go outside and run after I finish my school work for the day or if I need a break. I sometimes just take my work outside if it’s a nice, sunny day. Use this time to get close to your families, check-in with those you don’t see often, and take in the beautiful nature God made. There is a reason for everything.”

 

“If you had told me during my freshman year that this is what my senior year would look like, I would not have believed you,” says senior track athlete Samantha Henderson. “Senior year comes with many rites of passage that I, along with other seniors, will never get to experience. It’s been hard on me not getting to run and compete everyday with my team, which is more like my second family.”

Samantha muses, “I would give anything to put my jersey on just to run one last race with them, be able to have my senior night, and to be able to graduate on stage with all of my friends. People have always told me that senior year flies, I just never expected it to end this quickly. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet.”

Like Autumn, Samantha is trying to stay positive. “With all that has been happening, I’ve tried to look on the bright side of things because nobody can control what has already happened. I try to keep in my mind that just because it wasn’t the ideal senior, that it isn’t any less special. The school and community have been very supportive to all the seniors, and I’m very thankful for that.”

Samantha seconds Autumn’s gratitude for an indoor track season. “I also feel very blessed that my amazing coaches gave the team an opportunity to run indoor track this year. It gives me a little closure for my senior season, even though I’m still not ready for it to be over. The team has been staying in contact, and it makes things feel a little more normal. I’m just so excited see the great things they do next year. Once a bear, always a bear.”

 

Trenton Stovall, senior track athlete says he’s “obviously very heartbroken by the [cancelation] of our spring activities. I am really missing my teammates and coaches. Track has always been an escape for me where I can have fun and spend time with my friends, so not having that is hard to cope with.”

However, Trenton keeps perspective. “It is very difficult to find the light in a tough situation like so but, I keep telling myself that these cancellations and quarantine are for the better good of the community. All of this is in God’s plan, so I try not to worry about it too much.”

“I have been exercising a lot. I have even started to eat a little bit healthier since I have time to plan some meals,” senior track athlete Lexi Wilson says.  “I try to jog a mile everyday if it isn’t too hot or if there aren’t any wasps. I try to stay positive about the situation by fighting boredom with exercise.”

 

Sophia Boone, who is BCHS’ only senior tennis player, says that having her last tennis season cancelled has been very difficult. “This would have only been my second year in the sport, but I've been looking forward to this season since last year's season ended. Anyone who knows me understands how much I’ve enjoyed playing this sport and how important this last season was to me. It wasn't about being the best for me it was just about the experience and having fun.”

Sophia isn’t just disappointed that she missed out on her senior season. “The last three months of senior year would have been the most important to me not only because I’m in tennis but also prom, senior skip day, and graduation.”

She continues: “seniors this year are missing out on traditional memories and milestones that most other people get to experience going into adulthood. We have worked really hard for the past 12 years to get to where we are now. I remember coloring and cutting out little graduation caps in kindergarten and getting dressed up for middle school promotion. Little did we know that those events are the closest thing we will have to a graduation.”

Staying positive during these hard times have been difficult but even though we are missing out on all the memories we thought we were gonna have, we get our own unique experiences… Having…quality family time has really made a difference in this quarantine for me,” Sophia says. “This time is really important to me and making these memories with my family before I leave are things I'm going to remember forever. I want to thank my family and especially my mom for making the best of this time and really helping me stay positive.”


Beech Tree News is proud of these players and the perspective they have during a challenging time. 

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Other seniors participating in BCHS Track and Field are Mac Hampton, Conner Glass and Tyler Lynch. The story will be updated when additional information is provided. 

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