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


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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.

McKenzie Casselman – Manning softball

"Softball is home. It’s standing at the plate waiting for the next play or waiting to have your chance to hit that homerun over the fence or being the last runner on the base and making the winning run. It’s knowing you aren’t just a team, you are a family and that every single one of those teammates are going to have your back no matter what. Whether it’s telling you the ball is right underneath your feet while you are catching or cheering you up after you struck out. It’s having an outlet to life. Knowing you can go onto the field and shake off whatever has happened to you that day or that week. It’s goofing off on the long bus rides to and from away games or running after practice because you were laughing too much. Softball has always been my happy place and I wish I had the chance to say goodbye to it the proper way. Softball was and will always be my home."

Haile McElveen - Wilson Hall track and field

“Not being able to compete this spring is very disappointing. I have been anticipating me senior spring season for awhile . I continued running after cross country and was in the best shape ever going into track season. I have learned not to take anything for granted. God does not promise us tomorrow and we have to trust his plan. Jeremiah 29:12 states “I know the plans I have for you, not to harm you but to prosper you.” God has a plan for out senior year but right now it’s hard to understand. Not being able to compete with friends around the track or sporting clays course has been life changing. Its been a time to reflect and realize what’s really important in life. I will miss competing for Wilson Hall. I just challenge everyone to do your best at everything you do because you never know when life will suddenly change.”

Jamiya Lindsay - Crestwood track and field

"I feel disappointed that I’ve lost my finial high school track season to the pandemic COVID-19. I feel that if I had known that this would have happened, my last track meet I would’ve left every breath in my body on the track. Though it has happen, it has given me courage and faith. I’m more than ready to step back on the track my freshman year in college and finished what I couldn’t have in high school."

Jackson Lee - Laurence Manning soccer

"Losing a little more than half a season during senior year of high school has been heartbreaking. All I’ve wanted to do during the last month or so has been to go out on the field with my team and play the game we all love. I’ll miss the bus rides to and from soccer games laughing and creating memories more than anything. I’ll miss talking to my coach and other captains about different game plans or how we should play against different teams. I hate the way this season came to an abrupt end but I am super thankful for all the memories I’ve made while playing at Laurence Manning."

Jackson Hoshour - Sumter baseball

"To have your senior season stripped away from you is always going to be a hard pill to swallow, especially during a worldwide pandemic. Me and my teammates worked so hard to get a change at the playoffs in some of our senior seasons. Whether it starts with rehab for my shoulder, to fall league, to gaining 20 pounds to prove the critics wrong. It’s a very hard pill to swallow but it’s going to make everyone of us mentally and physically stronger and make us realize that we don’t need to take anything for granted. I’d like to thank Coach Shumake for taking me under his wing since my 8th grade year and contributing to the player I am today. I’d also like to thank Coach Twitty, my outfield coach who’s always been in my corner since day 1. I’d also like to thank Coach Curtis Johnson for everything he has done for us seniors, it means the world. This isn’t the end for me in my baseball career and I’m excited for what comes next but it’s sad to think I’ll never get my senior year back, the year that we are all suppose to cherish. With that being said I hope everyone stays safe and this mess ends soon so we can get back out on the field one last time at Riley Park."