The uncertainties of the upcoming high school sports season have taken a massive toll on the minds of student-athletes and coaches. COVID-19’s spread in the United States has only grown more rampant, leaving no choice but for health and government officials to apply several mandates.
The upcoming seniors for this next school year got to see first-hand last spring, how disappointing and saddening it is to have a season taken away due to COVID-19 precautions, especially with their senior friends and teammates.
The Mercer County students and coaches though, are not ready to give up hope yet. In fact, many of them are more prepared than ever to get the upcoming season started, and they give a lot of praise towards those trying to make it happen.
“This season will definitely mean a lot to our seniors. We have a big group this year and they have all been in our high school soccer program since their freshman year. They have all worked extremely hard every year to get to the level they are now. They are a great group of soccer players on the field and great young men off the field. We will challenge our whole team to play to the highest standard this year for our senior players as we do each year of our program,” Boy’s Titans Soccer Coach Garrett Stark said about the upcoming season.
“Soccer has been a huge part of my life for 13 years. I have met many of my great friends and grown close with them over the years because of my time playing soccer with them. Not only have I learned a lot and gotten better every single season I have played soccer, but the great deal of more important things I have learned from every coach I’ve had are about life, not soccer. All of us seniors have been talking about our senior season ever since 7th or 8th grade, and this season is supposed to be the best one we’ve ever had, we are supposed to enjoy every second of it. It will be a great disappointment if we happen to not have our season, but we are not supposed to think like that. Our group of guys are coming in every day at practice and giving 110 percent effort and everyone is pushing each other to get better every single day because we are confident that we will be playing this fall. We are looking forward to a great season,” said senior Titan soccer player Jeron Winchester.
His teammate Jamie Bordeaux also had this to say about the upcoming 2020 season:
“Soccer means so much to me because it’s always been a place where I can go and always have a great time. Thankfully, the president of KHSAA is fully behind us having fall sports this year, so I definitely think we will play.”
KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett has been transparent regarding the likelihood of certain fall sports taking place. He has taken many precautions to ensure safety amongst the student-athletes, coaches, and spectators and was even quoted earlier this month stating “We are more optimistic now than perhaps a few weeks ago.”
One of the main focuses right now is for the upcoming football season. With the first games being just a month away, the anticipation is heavy from all the players, but especially the seniors.
“Football has always been a part of my life. Since little league, I’ve always been excited to be part of a football team, and knowing that I might not get to play my senior season sucks. This season is the senior’s most important season because it’s our last so we are still gonna work hard and be ready if we do,” said Richie Macias.
“I’d say football is really important to me. Even though I’ve only played since eighth grade, I don’t think there is a better feeling than working hard Monday through Thursday just to be able to walk on that field on Friday. The feeling is unreal. I hope that we have a senior season because as an underclassman I really looked forward to being able to lead the team. I really didn’t even know if I wanted to play this year coming off of an injury but I want my final year to go out with a bang,” said his teammate Jesus Garcia.
These Titans are all more than ready to get things started. It will be gratifying for many athletes, families, and coaches if the state of Kentucky and the KHSAA can allow fall sports to happen, but COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high.
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