Editor’s note: This column was written before Monday’s announcement that the NJCAA was ending all spring sports for the rest of the school year.
By Bailey Pennycuff / Co-Sports Editor
Imagine … You’ve just been handed the most delicious-looking ice cream cone you have ever seen. It’s a double-dip cone with your favorite flavors, topped with gooey caramel and flavorful sprinkles.
Of course, you must also imagine a juicy cherry on top.
You have been looking forward to this ice cream cone for a long time – perhaps you had been anticipating this heavenly treat as part of a birthday tradition of some sort. Now, imagine a giant bird flies above you and snatches the dessert right as you’re about to get your first taste, then drops in on the ground directly in front of you. Then a kid on a bike pedals by and runs straight over it.
This heart-wrenching scenario is only a slight fraction of what it felt like when I was told the Hutchinson Community College softball season could be over because of the coronavirus, or Covid-19.
Our team has improved immensely since the fall season – mostly due to our amazing chemistry. We are not even halfway through the season, and yet we have beat a team (Butler) that we haven’t defeated since 2006, broken the stolen base record (shoutout to Lexi Williams with 28 stolen bases) and in our first conference doubleheader, we beat Colby by 21 runs. I wish I could capitalize numbers.
This is how I relate the ice cream to being so decked out – the delectable caramel, the tasty sprinkles. This is how our team is.
Taylor Ullery’s clutch home runs – top-tier cherry. Maryssa Rollin’s whopping 32 RBIs – without a doubt, is better than the crunchy cone. Natalie Bevan’s hacky-sack skills – uncomparable to even the best flavor of ice cream in the world (mint chocolate chip, of course).
The potential of this team is insane. We could have made history.
Being told that our season has been halted until April 1 truly did not even rattle me as much as I am rattled now. It wasn’t until I got on social media and realized how quickly the world had shut down.
Usually, I like to look at the positive side of everything. This season, however, is not looking like it will resume.
My heart aches for the athletes around the world whose careers were so abruptly ruined. I can’t even wrap my brain around what I would be feeling if I was a senior at Augusta High School again. Maybe I would have never won the Class 4A state softball championship in softball. Or what if I was a sophomore this year … the last at-bat of my life would have really been a roll-over groundout to the second baseman.
Thankfully we are still allowed to practice. If the opportunity arises for us to play again, we will be ready. All we can really do is practice hard and pray we get another chance.
Perhaps, maybe we could buy another ice cream cone.
Bailey Pennycuff is an Augusta freshman in Pre-Dental Hygiene. She is The Collegian’s Co-Sports Editor and an outfielder for the Blue Dragon softball team.