The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on life of everyday Americans is felt most in sports — particularly at a local level.
In a normal year, coaches and players alike would be preparing for the 2020 spring sports season as our Daily Times staff would be working on our Spring Sports Preview.
Instead, players and coaches from Scioto County alike were asked for their reaction to the on-going global pandemic via an online Google Form, as well as how the closure of schools and subsequent postponement of the start of the spring sports season in the state of Ohio has affected their lives.
These are the people whose voices are often not heard when such wide-sweeping decisions have such a drastic impact on their lives, in the immediate and in the long term.
No matter the outcome of this in the world of sports, the decisions of postponements and cancellations have affected so many in so many ways.
Reaction from players, coaches
Man, it’s crazy, this has changed the lives of so many students. Not only high school but in college as well. I have dear friends who play college ball as well whose senior years got cut short because of this. I have players who may never get to play again. The impact is massive. – Austin Opperman, Porstmouth West assistant baseball and basketball coach
I started considering the impact when the NBA season was suspended – Seth Mowery, ninth grade, Notre Dame
I hope everyone thinks about their actions before doing. The class of 2020 just won’t be the same. We have spent 12 years to walk across the stage and be handed a diploma. We have spent 12 years waiting for this specific year to do “senior” things, which now are taken away from us. – Addisyn Newman, 12th grade, Northwest
The decisions have impacted my life around sports as it has put all instruction from my coaches to a hold. Typically, me and my teammates are getting valuable time with just us and our coaches to prepare for the season. However, I believe the decision will help result in the best outcome. – Austin Arnett, 12th grade, Portsmouth West
Although I understand them fully, I’m heartbroken for our athletes. Especially the seniors. – Brooks Fry, Northwest assistant girls’ basketball and track coach
The moment I began considering the disease’s effects on sports was when my coaches informed me that my softball season, after all the hard work we put in already, may not even be happening. – Alexis Whitt, 10th grade, Valley
I hope that I can possibly play one more sport, I’d hate to miss my final track season. – Elisha Marshall, 12th grade, Northwest
National sports have a higher chance of getting coronavirus because more people attend the games. There’s no purpose in putting an end to sports due to the virus when less than 50 people come to games. – Emma Blevins, 11th grade, Northwest
The decisions made by the OHSAA has affected my life around sports by taking away one of my limited years of playing. My friends that I’ve grown up with have lost their senior year of softball, and I have lost the year I’ve been most excited for. I had new goals and expectations set for myself that I now have to relook on and decide how to change them without knowing what I was truly capable of this season. You’re allowed four years of high school sports, and now all high school spring sports athletes are given only three. This is something I will never let go of, and will never leave my mind. How I was not allowed to play my Junior year of softball due to a virus. – Ava Jenkins, 11th grade, Green
When I saw professional seasons being canceled and march madness being canceled as well. that’s when i realized my sports could be canceled too. – Kyndal Kearns, 10th grade, Portsmouth
I immediately started thinking of sports as soon as I heard that China had this virus. I was very concerned for those athletes with respiratory problems such as asthma. – Anna Knapp, ninth grade, Green
It’s my senior year of softball, my favorite sport. My team and I have worked so hard for this season and it’s crazy to think that this sport could just be stripped away from my team and teams all over the state just like that because of a virus. To some people, sports aren’t just a game. It’s their life, their happiness, the one thing that takes them away from all the negatives of the world. I know government is doing what they need to do to stop the spread of the virus, but it’s crazy to think that the rest of my senior year could end this week, along with my last softball season as a Titan. – Cassie Schaefer, 12th grade, Notre Dame
I just want to walk at graduation, play my senior season in softball, go to my senior prom, do a senior prank, and everything else that makes senior year the best year. – Hannah Tolle, 12th grade, Minford
Reality will set in this week when I won’t be able to be with the boys. I think OHSAA made the right decision to delay three weeks & see what happens instead of canceling the season upfront. – Marc Cottle, Clay baseball head coach
It is so weird to walk into a restaurant and there not be a basketball game playing on a TV, it breaks my heart that some seniors didn’t get to play what was known as their last ever game. – Karsyn Conaway, 12th grade, Valley
As a one sport athlete in my senior season, I’ve been looking forward to my favorite sport (baseball) for over a year. We have a good chance at a decent tournament run, and this virus could potentially ruin our last year of high school. – Levi Murphy, 12th grade, South Webster
Usually I would gearing up to hit the field, but i’m not. If feels strange not going to school everyday but it feels even more odd to not be walking off a bus with my team getting ready to play a game. I understand the reasoning but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. – Jaclyn Burchett, 11th grade, Northwest
I hope it won’t last that long because I want to start practices and tournaments – Brady Voiers, 10th grade, New Boston
When the Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert first tested positive for the virus. I found it hard to believe that this disease could reach someone like that and it really put things into perspective for me as in doing the little things like washing your hands before every meal to say safe. – Brayden Bockway, 12th grade, South Webster
With it being my senior year, I am not able to have the ideal preseason with my teammates and coaches. Getting ready for the season is hard now that coaches are not allowed to be around the players when its softball affiliated. – Brittani Wolfenbarker, 12th grade, Wheelersburg
Without sports my days have cleared. My schedule revolved around school, college, sports and my job. Currently school is online, college is online, sports are suspended, and my job’s hours are narrowing. The virus has definitely impacted my life and others around me. – Jaymes Jones, 11th grade, Clay
When there were suspected cases at Shawnee State. I know a lot of people that go there and it really made me realize how close to home it is and what kind of impact it might make. – Ricky Nash, 11th grade, Green
Now that spring sports are virtually canceled- the entirety of track’s prep season- it is almost impossible to know how I’m going to be able to achieve my goal at PRing in my events or even trying to get to state for once. – Zachary Whitley, 12th grade, Wheelersburg
Life is full, it seems a bit unreal that all sports nationally are on hold. It’s never happened in my life and probably never will again. – Malachi Potts, 12th grade, Glenwood
I hope we can start practicing again and be able to enjoy this year’s track season – Lethan Poe, 10th grade, Green
I’ve played soccer, basketball, and baseball my entire high school career and as a senior heading into his last baseball season and hearing it may get canceled is very heart breaking. – Gabe Ruth, 12th grade, South Webster
I have coached My oldest daughter Taylen a senior from the time she was in t-ball and her younger sister Dylan who is a freshman for a lot of her career too. We always talked about we have that one year together. Dad and both daughters on the same team. Softball is not just a sport to us it is a lifestyle. It is something we do as a family that brings us together. It pains me physically to think that My children and me will never get a chance to play and coach all three together. the seniors will never get a chance to showcase the talent they have to maybe go to college one day on a scholarship. – Mike O’Rourke, Glenwood assistant softball coach
It impacted my life terribly, I play baseball and have my whole life and I work every day no matter the season and all I wanted was to have my last season. – Dakota Dodds, 12th grade, Clay
It’s been a tough road for us. As a coach you don’t want to alarm your players, but you don’t want to downplay the seriousness of the matter either. We told them to keep working on their own at home that this wouldn’t be the end of the season and we would see them when this all blew over. Most of our players have been in the weight room and attending our offseason program since November. To have to stop the way we did, as close as we are. It’s just been hard. – Shane Jenkins, Green softball head coach
When I had to tell a senior Shayla Rosenaugle, she may not have a senior season, the look on her face really hurt my heart. I’ve watched this one senior grow tremendously over the last couple of years and turn into a fine young lady. How she expressed the need for her to be a good role model for the younger girls, these are the kind of things we try to emphasize with our girls. – Scott Perdas, East softball head coach
I hope this stops the spread, because if needless action was taken, then it was so unfair to me and all other seniors. – Abraham Blevins, 12th grade, Portsmouth West
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved