Springing into season of uncertainty


Photo courtesy of Ryan Caldwell '21

Up in the air: The baseball team is just one of many South sports teams who have had their spring season postponed. With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future of their season.

Mike Hamilton '22, Staff Writer

When the news came out that all spring sports would be canceled until further notice, many questions immediately arose. What will happen to juniors who are being recruited this season? What about seniors who are missing the final season of their spring sport? How long are teams not allowed to meet?
Although the information has been coming out as quickly as the situation of COVID-19 is evolving, there are many athletes who understand the situation at hand but are still disappointed in the decision to cancel all extracurricular activities for students.
“It’s hard for myself and for all of the seniors who play a spring sport, and I really feel for the seniors who have a spring sport as their primary or only sport,” said James Doerer ’20. “It’s really tough to say goodbye and it‘s a season you never get back.”
Doerer said he understands that the people making decisions to close things are looking out for the best interests of the athletes.
“It’s hard for the people in power right now,” Doerer said. “They have to make a lot of lose-lose decisions to try to keep people safe; no matter what they decide, someone will always disagree with it. The situation revolving around the pandemic is moving so fast it is hard to have an opinion on anything before it turns into something worse.”
According to baseball player Jonathan Drake ‘22, although he doesn’t disagree with the decisions made by the MHSAA Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), he feels that the cancellation of spring sports impacts much more than just the seniors playing their final season.
“I think a lot of people are overlooking the recruiting process,” Drake said. “Not only do you lose the opportunity to be looked at by recruiters on your film, but you can’t go to any scouting camps. It’s also a lot harder to stay in shape while all of the gyms are closed and you’re stuck at home, which could end up hurting a lot of athletes when the recruiting process starts up again.”
Drake said a lot of students look to sports as an escape from the stressors of everyday life, and in the time where there is a ton of stress, students no longer have that escape.
“I’ve been in contact with teammates, and they’ve all pretty much said that they are super bummed out because they have nothing to do,” Drake said. “We all just want to play ball again, but it is more important to follow all the guidelines.”
Boys’ track and field coach Mark Sonnenberg sympathizes with all seniors, not just his athletes.
“I have a special sympathy for the seniors who have lost so many opportunities, from prom to graduation to their spring and final sports season,” Sonnenberg said. “My hope is that they still get to celebrate at some point.”
Sonnenburg said underclassmen athletes need to continue to train and keep their bodies as close to playing shape as possible.
“My advice to the younger athletes is to keep training,” Sonnenburg said. “Find a reason to train, whether it’s to get ready for the fall season or to deal with your own stress or boredom. Be grateful that you have additional seasons and take the time to learn from everything that is going on.”
Sonnenburg said he also wants his senior athletes to know he understands the struggle of dealing with abrupt changes– he wants his athletes to look for the silver lining and step up in this time of crisis and be leaders.
“Find a purpose in your disappointment and help those around you in need,” Sonnenburg said. “Stay positive and support your parents, because you’ll all get through this.”