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


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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.

Teja Madison - Scott’s Branch softball

“Losing my spring season for softball is very heartbreaking. I practiced really hard to be a pitcher this year for my team since our former one graduated. It feels like all my hard work went to waste and I’ll never get to play my last season of high school softball as a Lady Eagle! Not only that, I never will get the chance to play with the best team and coaches ever!”

Edward Benjamin - Lee Central track

“My senior season meant a lot to me. This was my last chance to make it to the state meet. I have qualified 3 years straight but, never had a chance to go because something always came up. last year I qualified in the long and triple jump but then I was involved in a car wreck just a week before the state qualifiers meet. So this was my last shot to get there, so yes, this has been a big lost for me and my goals."

William Elmore - Laurence Manning Lacrosse

"To me, this whole situation is just upsetting. I was very much looking forward to things like having my senior night and finishing my season alongside my friends on the field. Lacrosse is a sport that is new to the Manning/Sumter area. I’ve watched our team go from not knowing anything about the sport, to being able to compete with some of the better teams in the state. It just makes me sad to realize that I’m not going to get to finish my last season of a sport that I’ve come to know and love."

Walter Knowlton - Wilson Hall baseball

"In sports, I have learned many valuable lessons and tools for my life. One being that you must take advantage of every opportunity before those opportunities are gone. Losing the spring season of my senior year is one of those opportunities that I’ll never get back, so it is a tough feeling knowing that my baseball career is over. If I would’ve known that I was playing my last game, then obviously I would’ve played like it was. With that being said, losing my last spring season feels like losing a small but important part of my life.”

Jania Blackwell - Manning soccer

"For me, losing my season feels like it put a pause on history. This year at Manning High School, we’ve had our first ever all girls soccer team. Many of us have never even played before. My teammates and I were able to work up the courage to actually go on the field and play as hard as we knew how. Even though we may have not been the best, we still put our hearts on the field. Not being able to finish the season really feels like it stopped us from possibly getting better and developing as team. This was our chance to make history and all we did was write our names in the book but was never able to see the finishing play."

Landon Jones – Sumter baseball

"I am disappointed that the season is cancelled. It’s disappointing not seeing what we could’ve accomplished this year. It’s frustrating that the hard work we put in will not be seen during the season."