The lost spring seniors: COVID-19's impact on Sumter, Clarendon, Lee high school athletes, Part I

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Senior athletes in spring sports have lost out on most of their final high school seasons because of the coronavirus, so The Sumter Item wanted to hear from them about what that lost spring means to them. The Item will be running this series over the next several editions to give them a voice during their lost spring.

Daniel Gamble - Manning baseball

“Losing spring sports this year wasn’t just heart-breaking that I lost baseball but heart-breaking because it was my senior year. Looking back on the little bit of the season we had, workouts, conditioning, and open season the one thing that I can say I’ve learned is never take something you love for granted because you never know how long you’ll have it or when it will be taking from you. It doesn’t seem real and doesn’t seem true that I won’t be able to finish my senior year on the diamond, to say I been playing for Manning High for the past 6 years. I been questioning myself over this time asking myself why, why did this have to happening to my senior year it seems unfair, will I get the answer who knows but I just keeping telling myself everything happens for a reason and I don’t always have to know the reason why. So now that it is over all I got is memories to look back on, and trust me I have a lifetime of them coming off that field. I had big plans not only for my team but for myself this year and even though we didn’t get to fulfill them, we went out with a bang. I will definitely miss being the Manning High catcher after all these years and throwing out people, looking at coach Gandy and him giving me the pitch call, and keeping my fielders into the game joking around and my pitching relaxed, and those fun bus rides home, forever a Monarch #3out”

Diamond Sanders - Crestwood track and field

“I was really disappointed when they cancelled our spring season of track & field. I was really planning on making it to state this year in my events. Track is more than just running to me, it gives me motivation to do everything else in life. I love running because it helps me clear my mind and focus on the important things. No matter what I had going on in life I knew all the problems would disappear when track season started. This has been a rough senior year, I never thought it would turn out like this.”

Kylie Edwards - Lakewood softball

“Lady Gators Softball is my life and has been for the last six years. It means the absolute world to me and I’m so sad that it’s over. The thought of never playing another home game, riding on the bus with my sisters or cheering in the dugout absolutely breaks my heart. There are truly no words to justify how much I’m going to miss this and I’m just so thankful for the time I got. Lady Gators for life.”

Brandon Arnold - Sumter baseball

"It sure does suck to have the season get taken away from me and my teammates this year. I’ve worked hard and put in a lot of my time and effort to this game just to see the most memorable year of high school get cancelled due to the virus. Although this hurts badly to my heart, I feel like this time has been a challenge for me mentally and I’m sure it has been for everyone else. Of course our health and safety is the number one priority.

I want thank God for the blessings and abilities to play the great game of baseball. Baseball isn’t over for me and I’m excited to see what I can do at the next level. To all the memories and people I’ve met through the game will surely have a special place in me. I couldn’t thank my family enough for the sacrifices made for me to play the sport. I would like to thank Coach Shumake for believing in me and never giving up on me not only as a player but as a person as well. He has taught me so much about the sport and life and it sucks that I can’t hug him on senior night to give thanks to him. I also would like to thank Coach Twitty and Coach Hoshour as well for the many lessons taught. Coach Twitty has been one of my favorite teachers in my time at Sumter High School, thank you for all the laughs and all you have done for me. I could not be more proud to have repped Sumter On my chest. Thanks to everyone for the support over the years and during these hard times. I encourage you all to stay strong. God bless."

Trey Sharpe - Laurence Manning soccer

“It means we can’t ever take what we have right now for granted. It means we can’t spend time in the present with our minds in the future. Tomorrow isn’t something that’s guaranteed and that’s why you can never take a play off. You can’t afford to not give your all every chance you get, because when you leave gas in the tank but you lose the keys, it was for nothing. I always try to learn about life through sports and they’ve taught me so much. I believe this situation is just another lesson, and that’s what we need to take from this. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Matthew 6:34”