By: Jay Simon, The Whetstone
Senior softball player Miranda Kinney has been playing since she was in elementary school and said she will be upset if there isn’t going to be a spring season.
“I have always dreamed about playing in college and I want to be able to experience my last year,” she said. “I’ve come a long way since freshman year and devoted so much time to this sport. For my senior season to be possibly taken away from me is heartbreaking.”
Kinney, like many other senior student-athletes, are having trouble accepting the uncertainty of their last season as a Wesley Wolverine, but also say they are grateful for the opportunity to practice.
Senior football player Marcus Gaspard said he did not think there would even be a chance to participate in sports this fall after being sent home in the 2020 spring season.
“For me being a senior and not being able to know if I will play this year is scary because I really want to perform one last time,” he said. “I am just happy I am getting a chance to train and prepare for the future.”
Gaspard said that practices have made it hard – offense and defense cannot scrimmage with each other – but it’s been a good time to work on conditioning and technique.
“I’m praying that I will get another opportunity to come back and play again,” he said. “You know that your senior year is the best because you are in top shape and have the keys to success. I have one goal and it’s to win a national championship for Wesley.”
Senior baseball player Matt Ortiz said he can’t wait to get back on the mound and help the team complete.
“If there is no spring season it will definitely be a tough pill to swallow,” he said. “Worst-case scenario, I will use my extra years of eligibility, but I am keeping positive thoughts about the season happening.”
Ortiz said he will focus on school and get ready for the spring season during his free time.
“I’ll be taking advantage on honing my pitching skills to get me better and continuing to work out,” he said. “Regardless, it feels great to be back out on the field and playing again with my teammates, even with games not going on.”
Senior football player Gregg Clark said there are certain things you can’t control.
“I had a great career with a great team over the past four years,” he said.
“It’s definitely an option for me to come back and play if things start to get back to normal with playing, but for now my focus is on academics. I need to make sure that I do what needs to be done in the classroom and work environment.”
Senior women’s soccer player Amanda Moccaldi said she keeps getting upset when she practices because it reminds her that soccer’s fall season was canceled.
“Although I am very frustrated about not playing, this does make it easier for me to get my work hours done and a lot of my assignments for school,” she said. “I will be focusing on graduating in May since sports aren’t my main concern at the moment.”
Moccaldi said practice gives her a reason to get out of the house and bond with her teammates.
“It is a good workout to be playing for a straight hour or when we do cardio,” she said. “I am excited that I could have the chance to come back and play. I am especially excited to have a season in the spring. Even if it is only five games, it is better than nothing.”
Alli Backert, also a senior on the women’s soccer team at Wesley, said she is upset knowing that other people, such as professional leagues and youth leagues, are playing now.
“I played soccer my whole life and this would be my last season ever and to know that I might not get that chance to play one last time is really upsetting,” she said. “I think if we are able to practice then we should be able to play (in the fall) as well. Practicing also just makes me want to play in games even more.”
The NCAA’s Atlantic East Conference said it will be meeting mid-November to decide whether there will be a spring season. (https://atlanticeast.com/news/2020/9/10/general-2020-fall-semester-update.aspx)
“They’re still working the kinks out,” a spokeswoman said.