Is the 2020 high school spring sports season going to get played?
At this point, nobody knows for sure, but it’s getting late fast.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association has released multiple statements saying it’s holding out hope to at least play a postseason. With Spring Fling – the event in Murfreesboro where state titles are decided in baseball, softball, boys’ soccer, tennis and track and field – about 55 days away and schools currently closed due to coronavirus concerns, it seems more likely by the day spring 2020 seasons are going to be cancelled.
That, however, has not prevented area student-athletes from getting ready just in case.
Baseball and softball players from Brighton, Covington, Munford and Tipton-Rosemark are working out on their own.
Brighton’s Caylee Comer, Covington’s Carter Davis and Munford’s Blake Reed are getting in the backyard with their siblings to stay in playing shape.
“We have a tee in the backyard,” said TRA’s Jonah VanKampen. “I’ll hit tennis balls off that and my dog, she’ll go out there, chase them and bring them back to me.”
Brighton baseball player Hunter Deering has a batting cage in his backyard he’s been utilizing more than usual with school facilities closed.
Leah Beasley, a Covington softball pitcher, is using her father, Shannon Beasley, as a catcher.
“He’s great,” she said. “We set up the net and he catches me every day, but it’s not the same.”
Munford track athlete Ciara Potter is running the streets of her neighborhood to stay in shape.
I spoke to nine area seniors this week and asked how they were feeling about possibly seeing their senior seasons wiped away.
Caylee Comer • Brighton softball
“We are all pretty hopeful that we are going to play. We’ve been keeping up with it on Facebook and TSSAA has been posting stuff saying they’re going to try to play. That’s why we’ve been keeping the faith that we’re going to play … It would honestly be worse for one of our seniors (Allye Potter) because she’s not playing in college. That would completely take away your last season. It’s also taking away another season of mine. I’ve already missed one season because of an injury so I would only get to play two seasons of the four. I’m hoping and praying that doesn’t happen.”
Ciara Potter • Munford track and field
“I’m not sure. I’m just glad that I got signed (Southeast Missouri State) before all this happened so I can still run track in the future. I’m grateful for everything I’ve done so far. I guess we could just take a break and get back to it next season.”
Carter Davis • Covington baseball
“It’d be pretty devastating. I think the whole team’s goal is to kind of prove a point. Nothing against the big guys who graduated last year, but we wanted to prove a point that the whole organization is still there and it wasn’t just a three-year thing … that we could do it every year. It would be pretty upsetting to not get to show that our program is still doing it even though that class is gone … We’re all hoping, then again you can’t get your hopes up just to be devastated. We’re all keeping up with what’s going on. We’re hoping, but not expecting. I guess that would be the best way to say it.”
Lexie Williams • TRA softball
“It will definitely be upsetting. Of course I had goals for myself. I was on track to hold the stolen bases record. I wanted to end my season in the postseason. Then we went to Gulf Shores (for a tournament earlier this month) and we did really well, played against some good teams. It will definitely be heartbreaking because I’ve played varsity softball for five years and I’ve always wanted to experience my own senior year, being in that leadership position and having my own senior night. It will be heartbreaking, for sure … They’re talking about just playing a postseason, but we’re like, ‘Are we setting ourselves up for failure?’ Right now we’re just saying we’re not going back.”
Jonah Van Kampen • TRA baseball
“I think we are all pretty hopeful. Obviously we all want to. I think we’re all trying to stay as positive as we can. Coach (Brad) Smith has been texting us, telling us to stay positive and keep working out. That’s what we’re trying to do … It would be a blow, for sure. I would be very sad about it.”
Brook Angel • Munford softball
“We want to get back and play, but we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s upsetting, but I can’t really do anything about if we don’t get to play. Hopefully maybe we can all pick up and play together again. Hopefully we can do that if we don’t get to play this year..”
Leah Beasley • Covington softball
“I know, personally, talking with the four seniors, we’re all holding out hope as much as possible. We’re not giving up hope yet. I mean, this is our senior season, so of course we want to be able to play. We’re not giving up until they say it’s over … I know the four us would be just devastated. For three years you look forward to being a senior, all those special nights and getting to lead the team and all of sudden it’s just unexpectedly taken away. It’s awful.”
Hunter Deering • Brighton baseball
“I think we’ll play, they’ll just push it back into the summer. I think they’ll push it back to let us play, but I don’t know. It’s hard to tell. All these (coronavirus) cases are coming up and you never know … It’d be pretty disappointing if it happens. It’s hard. It’s gonna be hard not being able to play all four years in high school.”
Blake Reed • Munford baseball
“It will hurt a little bit. It’s just a freak thing. Nobody would have expected this to happen. I could look back and say my high school career was great. It’s always going to be in the back of your mind, ‘I wish I would have finished that senior year with my guys, that last final year, going through it one last time.’”