Though the 2019-20 spring season is now lost, hope isn’t.
You’re right to think you didn’t deserve this. None of you did. The FHSAA may have acted in the interest of safety for everyone by shutting the spring season down last week, but it still sucks. Sometimes the right decision to make is also the hardest one to take.
You’re right to feel sorry for yourself and your teams right now. All that hard work you put in this school year to be the best you can be on the field might seem like it’s going to waste now that we’re not getting any district, regional or state champions this semester, and that’s perfectly fair.
Are you angry at having your last year ripped out of your hands? Sad about not being able to accomplish your goals or enjoy some of the best things about being a high school senior? Afraid of how the novel coronavirus might affect your athletic future? Embrace it. Let it out. Bottling up those emotions doesn’t do anyone any good right now. It’s OK to not be OK.
Just remember: COVID-19 could take away the present, but it can’t take your past away and it might not be able to stop you from having a future.
You worked so hard on your craft while juggling all the other responsibilities of high school and being a teenager. Your sports definitely helped you grow as an athlete. Hopefully, they also helped you grow as a student and a person. Maybe it’s happened in ways you haven’t yet realized, but will think about later when some moment of clarity hits you. Think about the good things that have happened because you got into your sports. How many of your goals did you actually meet? How much progress can you say you’ve made? How many positive reinforcements have come into your life because you chose to play these sports? Even if you weren’t able to meet the goals you set for yourself in your last year, there are probably still good things you can take from your career and be proud of.
Whether you were able to get an athletic scholarship, an academic scholarship or even if you didn’t plan on attending college but have other dreams, playing your sports was a way to help you channel your determination into something positive — or maybe that was what helped you become a more determined person. I’m not gonna sugarcoat things: this year’s not looking so hot for us all right now. It’ll be some time before we have vaccines and treatments that actually work, help us get to legitimate herd immunity and truly get back to normal life. But even with so much adversity ahead, you still have the potential to do something in life that makes you feel happy and accomplished.
It doesn’t matter if you already know what that is or if you need to find it first, however long that may take and wherever unexpected places it may take you. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting into a super exclusive college because of great grades and/or connections, or if you already know college isn’t for you and that you can still make a good living doing something that doesn’t require a piece of fancy paper and a mountain of debt. If you’re still living and breathing, no matter how bleak your situation looks, you still have a chance. You still have worth beyond what you can do on the playing field. You still have reasons to be hopeful about where you can go in life.
Your spirit got you this far in life and it can still keep you going, Class of 2020. Stay safe and stay grounded.