Editor, The Messenger
Sitting in my living room in Fishers, Ind, adhering to social isolation expectations set forth from the good governor of my adopted Hoosier state, I felt compelled to reach out to a special group of students at Trimble High School.
For a number of years, while a resident in Trimble Township, I had the good fortune of volunteer varsity baseball coaching at Trimble and working with head coach, Phil Faires. After relocating three years ago to Indiana, I still return “home” and assist the players in early spring. Coach Faires welcomes me back with his infectious smile and paves the way with new players who are less familiar with me. I always find myself longing to be back at Trimble assisting with practice/games while rekindling relationships with players, coaches, parents, and fans.
I so wanted to see this special group of seniors finish out their careers. They came as freshmen and most of them were in the starting lineup on opening day. Such a competitive group! Some had played in the finals of the state football playoffs, went undefeated in their senior year in football, and garnered several Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division/sectional/district titles in basketball.
This may have been their year to advance in baseball. Oh my, would I have loved being part of that. But the Ohio High School Athletic Association officially decided to terminate spring sports due to the COVID-19 virus. It was in the interest of keeping players, family and the community safe.
I will surely miss seeing the players do well and feeling pride in their accomplishments. Awesome when a player gets a base hit off a good opposing pitcher after being down two strikes, then gives you a high five when he reaches first base with an ear-to-ear grin. Or maybe it’s your new catcher calling a pitch out for the first time and throwing out the opponent’s lead-off hitter for his first throw-out of the season. Oh, is that sweet! How about picking up the Athens Messenger and reading a heartfelt narrative from Jason Arkley or Kevin Wiseman about the game the night before. These accounts replete with their metaphors, similes, and anecdotes, will be absent in the spring of 2020.
I want to publicly thank the seniors for the want, will, and desire to do great things! You may have missed this moment in spring ball, but your next big moment is just around the corner.
You will stare this adversity in the eye just as Tomcats always do. Rise up, take what has been dealt to you and learn from it. Live and appreciate the moment because you now know firsthand that it can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Your grit, your passion will sustain you. Keep grinding. Keep dreaming. Keep aspiring. Keep hoping.
Love you guys!