Area coaches share same feelings as players
Local high school coaches had their teams on the field and were gaining much needed momentum on the 2020 season when the unthinkable happened as Covid-19 forced local school systems to lock the gates. Across the board, those coaches felt almost the same heartbreak their players did and all they could do is lend a helpful ear and let them vent. When asked about their thoughts several responded.
Lady Panthers softball coach Jeremiah Bean stated, “I feel really bad for my players, but also fortunate that I do not have any seniors. Still these kids lose a year but these are things we can’t control. I don’t know if we will play this year it depends on how this all plays out with work and school. I told my girls to get out and do something but we will see when we come back if it happens. Kids are not as disciplined and have too many other things to think about or do. I always tell mine to do push ups, sit ups, and Cardio. I’ll find out when we come back cause I usually do a conditioning test to see.”
Bean added, “I think the kids understand that it’s for their safety and I know Alana and a couple others have been pitching and catching on their own. We cannot do anything with them but I do try to text all of my girls weekly to check on them not just softball, but sickness, hard times, money, and just in general.
Panthers baseball coach Nathan Hatmaker also spoke about his team, “I feel awful for all my players, but it stings a bit more for my senior class. I’m still feeling optimistic about maybe some type of playing time whether it would be a district tournament or a few of the last games of the season, but I’m preparing for the worst case scenario. I’m not allowed to have any instruction with them, but they have the resources necessary and I know they are using the free time to get better when they and yes I do think they know what is going on. They are high school boys and I know they wanna play more than they do anything else, so I know they are struggling with it.”
Lady Bulldogs softball Coach Steven Cupp said, “I feel real sorry for my players, especially my seniors. The girls have worked really hard preparing for the season. I was afraid this was coming and told them to enjoy each game. I hope we will get to play some but I’d be surprised if we do. My girls are very self motivated and will keep in shape. I do feel that my girls understand what is going on because I have a very smart group of young ladies. I hate so much what they are going thru but sometimes good things come out of bad situations. This situation should definitely make people enjoy what they had before.”
Bulldogs baseball coach Stephen Foster was also saddened with the news that the season was halted and potentially canceled. Foster also commented on the situation, “Words cannot describe how bad I feel for my all my players, especially the seniors. It’s really sad for their last season to go down this way. We are holding on to hope that we will at least get some of it in. I’m hoping they have been staying in shape in case we are allowed to resume; however, it’s really difficult when you can’t get together as a group. For the first time in five years, I really feel like I have nothing to do but wait.”
The entire high school sports family all share the same feelings. The feelings of sadness and sometimes just pure disgust or anger over the situation is being felt by players, parents, fans and coaches alike but they all understand how dire the situation is and all seem to know it’s the concern about our silver citizens and at risk people that this has to be done.