Timeout on sports

Cancelling of season takes toll on senior athletes

Practice+cancelled+%2F%2F+With+her+mitt+in+hand%2C+senior+Nia+Carter+practices+with+her+team+to+prepare+for+their+next+game.+The+girls+varsity+softball+team+held+a+winning+record+of+13-5+and+continued+to+dominate+as+a+powerhouse.+However+due+to+the+COVID-19+pandemic%2C+their+season+came+to+an+abrupt+end%2C+affecting+both+students+and+staff.+%E2%80%9COur+team+was+something+different+this+year%2C%E2%80%9D+Carter+said.+%E2%80%9CWe+had+a+very+strong+offense+that+made+it+possible+for+us+to+win+games.+We+weren%27t+able+to+start+district+play%2C+but+we+knew+we+started+to+make+some+of+our+opponents+chatter+about+us.%E2%80%9D

photo credit: Sammy Harris

Practice cancelled // With her mitt in hand, senior Nia Carter practices with her team to prepare for their next game. The girls varsity softball team held a winning record of 13-5 and continued to dominate as a powerhouse. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their season came to an abrupt end, affecting both students and staff. “Our team was something different this year,” Carter said. “We had a very strong offense that made it possible for us to win games. We weren’t able to start district play, but we knew we started to make some of our opponents chatter about us.”

With the COVID-19 virus continuing to spread around the world and cause an uproar of panic and trepidation, the local governments have set guidelines enforcing social distancing to minimize the spread of the virus throughout the country. With this, schools have shut down and have switched to online learning. Leading to the cancellation of UIL activities such as the baseball and softball season, soccer, track and others.

The cutting short of seasons affected student athletes like senior varsity softball player Nia Carter. Carter led the Dallas-Fort Worth area with five home runs and was on her way to having a historical season with her team.

We had a very strong offense that made it possible for us to win games. In the pre-season we won 13 of 18 games. We weren’t able to start district play, but we knew we started to make some of our opponents chatter about us.”

— Nia Carter, senior softball player

“Our team was something different this year,” Carter said. “We had a very strong offense that made it possible for us to win games. In the pre-season we [won 13 of 18 games]. We weren’t able to start district play, but we knew we started to make some of our opponents chatter about us.”

Learning of her senior season coming to an abrupt end, Carter felt devastated. After playing on the varsity team since her freshman year, she wished to share her final season with her fellow seniors.

“The fact that my other three seniors, Destiny Valdez, Makayla Herod and Katelynn Herod won’t get the exit that we deserve is heartbreaking,” Carter said. “This entire year I’ve been looking forward to senior night and going to the playoffs again. However, I know this is the right thing to save lives and I am grateful that the country is taking these extra precautions.”

Carter shared her devastation with her fellow teammates as well. As student athletes, performance on and off the field serves an important role in their season and future plans.

“It’s upsetting that our softball season was shorter than usual,” senior Katelynn Herod said. “We’re missing the most important parts of our senior year. The pandemic postponed my last opportunity to take the ACT, so now I won’t be able to raise my scores for more scholarship money.” 

Even with her season cut short, Carter continues to have a positive outlook throughout the pandemic.

“One good thing that has come out of this is the lesson of not taking anything for granted,” Carter said.  “Because it could be gone in any second.”

Carter’s mentality regarding softball has not changed either. As she plans to play for North Central Texas College, she continues to put in hours of work to hone her skills in hopes of another season.

“I still practice. I have this extra time to train and become a better softball player before I go to college; it’s my motivation.”

 

 

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