Senior athletes react to shutdown

Irish hope seasons resume, but recognize they may not


Mary White

Grace Lorsung and her fellow softball team members gather on the mound during a varsity game last season.

Caleb Land, Sports Editor

Senior athletes who look forward to spring sports now face the prospect of their seasons being shortened or perhaps even canceled, with the campus now being closed at least until May 4.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association released a statement regarding spring sports athletes, “Regular season contests are conducted at the school’s discretion. Currently, the guidance being provided by the State of Indiana allows for events with less than 250 individuals in attendance to be conducted. Local jurisdiction shall prevail with regard to whether contests in the regular season are conducted. Some schools in our state have closed and will implement extended break periods.

“Once students return to school, all provisions of Rule 9-14 – Practice Attendance to Participate in a Contest – shall be enforced. This health and safety measure within the by-laws will not be waived. Should a previously scheduled contest fall before the completion of said separate days of practice, the contest must be rescheduled or cancelled.

“A decision on meeting a minimum number of contests to become eligible for IHSAA tournament series events will be made at a later date. At this time, the IHSAA is planning on staging all spring sport tournament series events as scheduled.”

To simplify that: Effective immediately, spring sports have been postponed, not canceled and it is up to the school’s discretion when the athletics can restart.

As for Irish athletes, it has not been easy. Not only is it the senior season for many, it’s senior year that is being affected.

Several seniors provided their perspective.

Matt Dennen, a senior lacrosse player, said, “I am disappointed that I don’t get to see my guys for a whole month. I believe that the season will realistically be canceled but I sure hope it doesn’t. I will miss the guys and team bonding too much.”

Kyle Cortner, a senior baseball player, said, “At first I thought about what that meant for baseball season and if we would still go through with tryouts. I was scared that the entire season would get canceled. They have implemented the rules for in season training, but since Cathedral is not in school we cannot start our season until we go back to classes. The IHSAA has said our season is delayed, not yet canceled.”

Lindsey Douglas, who plays women’s lacrosse, said, “I was more shocked than anything. I don’t think I’ve truly processed that there’s a chance we won’t be able to play again this season. I’m trying to stay optimistic. Given that girls lacrosse is not an IHSAA sport, the Indiana Girls Lacrosse Association has not said much to us. I will definitely miss competing and losing the opportunity to make some final statements as an athlete. But I think I will miss my teammates the most. We have a really close group of girls, and I will miss all the practice, road trips, team bonding and team meals. I love all the girls on the team, and I really think we’d be able to have a great season, both on and off the field, if we are given the chance to.”

Jordan Thomas, a senior track athlete, said, “I was devastated. I was looking forward to having an amazing track season senior year. This was my way of going to the college. I wanted to on a track scholarship with my parents paying little to no money. That has been a goal of mine, always. Senior year is crucial as well because I missed all of my junior year due to injury.

“So when the news hit, I didn’t know what to think and just started praying that it doesn’t get to the point where the whole season is canceled. It’s hard because sometimes I think ‘what am I still grinding for?’ but we don’t know where this is going to be at a month or two from now, so it’s better to go with the for sure thing, and that is continuing to work out and train like the season is officially still on.”

Grace Lorsung, who plays softball, said, “When I found out school was going to be closed, I was devastated. Right after that announcement, there was a meeting in Coach (Mrs. Linda) Bamrick’s room for the softball team. There was a lot of emotion, tears and sadness in that room. However, there was still positivity and hope that there could be a chance that we still will play. For the seniors specifically, it was hard hearing that the end of our senior year and senior season could get canceled. It was a hard conversation to have, but we all knew that we had to look at the bigger picture and just be positive.

“I will continue to work out and practice softball no matter what. Although a lot of places and facilities are closed, I still have some places that I can practice on a field every once in a while. I also can throw and hit at home. I also have been doing some workouts at home and running around the neighborhood as much as I can. I don’t really know if our season will get canceled or not. I think it all depends on if they open school back up and allow us to have somewhat larger gatherings. The IHSAA has said that softball will pick up when we get back to school.

“However, we have to have 10 practices until we can play a real game. At Cathedral, we have four practices already, so we will have to get six more until we can play. The earliest game date would be April 21.

“If season does get canceled, I will miss the bond that I have with all the girls on our team. We have been working really hard in the offseason, and there was a really good chance that we could have gone to state. We were all super excited for that opportunity, so it would be hard to miss out on that. I also will miss all the memories we made like in team bonding, bus rides, playing in really good teams, and just having fun with each other. School season has such a unique and fun atmosphere that I will really miss.

Despite information from the Centers for Disease Control that teens and young adults can pick up the virus, show no symptoms but spread the virus to others, some students believe that this cancellation of school and sports seasons are an overreaction. Some have started a social media trend, telling the IHSAA and sports leagues everywhere to #LetTheKidsPlay.