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Sad day as seniors, teams sent home

Friday the 13th always has its connections with things some people are afraid of – like black cats or walking under a ladder.
But last Friday is a day I will remember for a long time as well as all the area athletes.
I was on my way to cover the Eunice Lady Bobcats’ softball game at Opelousas Catholic when I received a text that the game had been cancelled – not because of rain but because the St. Landry Parish school superintent’s decision concerning the corona virus.
Earlier in the day, I knew about the Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edward’s decision to close all public schools starting on March 16, but I thought games would go on through the weekend.
I turned around and headed back to Eunice when I was informed the St. Edmund Lady Jays would take on Welsh and celebrate their three seniors after the game.
I’m sure there were tears as the Lady Cats returned home, but the Lady Jay seniors managed to smile after their 13-0 win on what could be their final softball game of their careers.
I’m sure their disappointment of waiting 30 days to see if they will play again will turn to heartache for the area high school sports if the rest of the spring sports seasons can’t continue.
Telling those seniors that it was over is going to be a moment in their lives that they will never forget – for the players, their coaches and the parents.
It’s just all stripped away and that’s hard. I get life is more than just sports, but I know the seniors are devastated about the game being taken away so suddenly.
As one softball player said to me, “I knew the season would end one day, but this is all so unexpected.”
Athletes are used to winning and losing, but they don’t expect not being able to play the game.
It’s such a hard lesson – but we know that life isn’t fair. This is one of those moments.
Team activities include practices, scrimmages, games, strength and conditioning activities, and any other organized sessions or activities are halted until at least April 20.
Hope remains that spring sports can resume down the road, but only time will tell how this school year will end.
Early on, I heard angry responses to what they call an overreaction.
What some considered draconian decisions gave way to understanding that these steps are necessary to protect our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans.
One of the greatest lessons sport teaches is that things happen which are beyond our control.
This won’t be the last time that things happen to all of us that are beyond our control. It just so happens that this one is uncommonly significant.
With the indefinite suspension of all sports with concerns about the coronavirus, the LHSAA and the governor made the right decision.
I read a quote from a high school educator who wrote about the school closures around the country: “In the end it will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be quite apparent if we under reacted or did too little.”
I am not the type of person who enjoys the social distancing idea, but I know that it’s an mportant step to help stop this virus as soon as possible.
The good Lord willing I will be covering sports again real soon, but it may not be soon enough for the Class of 2020.
As a tribute for the blood, sweat and tears they put in over the four years of their high school careers, there will be a spotlight in each edition of the Eunice News until every Eunice High and St. Edmund senior spring sport athlete is recognized.
I hope to be able to tell them farewell and Godspeed in person – but that may not happen if the virus stops us from getting together at the spring award ceremonies.
I am sad for them if their playing days are through, but I want them to have one last tip of my cap.

Eunice Today

465 Aymond St.
Eunice, LA 70535
Phone: 337-457-3061
Fax: 337-457-3122