The Lost Season of 2020
Written by Kade Turnage at GreenFox
Some looked forward to making their first start on the field. Some looked forward to competing in tournaments with their teammates. Others hoped to bring home a district championship. One thing Granbury High School student-athletes all had in common was that they didn’t get to walk off the field, leave the court, or get out of the pool with the knowledge that it would be the last time they did so in 2020.
Granbury High School student-athletes went into their 2020 Spring sport campaigns with excitement and anticipation after putting in countless hours of offseason training. All athletes began their seasons in early 2020 and most had already participated in a few games or events by the beginning of March. Granbury’s baseball and softball teams had already hosted their home tournaments, the golf teams had competed in several events, and other sports such as track & field, tennis, and cross country were underway as well. Just as all things seemed to be going as planned, fears of the COVID-19 virus spread across the country like a wildfire.
According to the Granbury ISD 2019-2020 School Calendar, students would have returned from Spring break on March 15. On March 12th, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) suspended all sanctioned school athletics for two weeks to try and wait out the spread of the virus. A few days later, all 2020 Spring athletic events under UIL were permanently suspended meaning that senior GHS student-athletes had walked off the field for the last time. There was nothing they could say or do, there was no appeals process for these students to get back the sport that they loved, they just had to be at peace with the fact that their 2020 season had come to a close.
The end of high school and transition into the real world is a huge part of a person’s life. Part of that transition for student-athletes is playing in a final home game. In a way, Senior night (the final home game of the year) is more significant to athletes than graduation. It’s a way of recognising all the blood, sweat, and tears put in over the past four years, and it signifies the end of a major period in a person’s life. All seniors involved in Spring sports never received that sense of closure. They were left out in the cold during one of the warmest months of the year.
Anyone who lives in Granbury can appreciate what local sports mean to a small town, and we wouldn’t have sports to celebrate without the athletes who work so hard to make Granbury proud both on and off the field. In light of the hard times that the last several months have brought, I was given the opportunity to interview three GHS student-athletes about their seasons this past year, how the pandemic has affected them, and what their plans are for the future.
The first athlete I sat down with was a senior member of the golf team, Jay Sherro. Jay has helped the golf team to success in many tournaments over the past few years and is going to Texas Tech after high school. He hopes to play golf at Texas Tech while getting his degree and was very excited about the opportunity to go to school out in Lubbock. The second athlete I had the chance to talk to was Taylor Calcotte, a junior pitcher for the Pirate baseball squad in 2020. Taylor recently committed to attend and play for the Shockers of Wichita State in NCAA’s Division 1 American Athletic Conference. While there, Taylor hopes to earn his degree in sports medicine or kinesiology. The last athlete that I spoke with was Rayli Ruby, a senior outfielder for the Lady Pirate Softball team in 2020. Rayli is going on to play softball for the University of the Ozarks in Arkansas beginning this fall. She hopes to one day work in the pharmaceutical industry after her softball career is over.
Despite the heartbreak of losing a major season of their high school careers, there was some good to come out of the cancellation of the season. Jay told me that his family had gotten closer over the course of the pandemic by playing board games and eating dinner together at the dining table, something that was hard to do while playing golf all the time. Taylor talked to me about how he was able to use the newfound freetime he had to focus on training for baseball and completing schoolwork. Rayli shared similar stories of getting to train and focus on softball while also getting to spend quality time with her family before she leaves for college in August.
Despite their years being washed down the drain, all of these athletes radiated positivity and excitement while talking about the future. In a world where most of the news seems to be negative, Jay, Taylor, and Rayli exhibited something that we could all use in today’s environment: optimism. All three of them have bright futures ahead on and off the field and are bound to make Granbury proud.