Student-athletes settling into new reality

By Jake Brown and Bailey Pennycuff / Staff Writers

Hutchinson Community College has experienced a weird turn of events, as have most schools over the past month. The country saw a virus that seemed to be small turn into something huge, ending school years, athletic seasons and, unfortunately, lives. 

As far as this pertains to HutchCC’s athletic department, it has been different. 

“I pretty much knew our season was over when we were playing our second game against Garden (City),” HutchCC softball coach Jaime Rose said. “It was a mixture of emotions.”

Seeing a season that started so well for the softball team halted with the snap of a finger is tough to deal with. They were in first place in the Jayhawk West and owned a win against Butler.

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. All spring athletes were granted a hardship, essentially meaning the 2020 season never happened as far as eligibility is concerned. Student-athletes’ eligibility remains as it was before the year began. 

“Every spring athlete will get their year of eligibility back, not just sophomores,” Rose said. 

This is huge, especially for someone such as baseball player Cade Fenton, who will have spent his fourth year at the junior college level, the last three at HutchCC.

“It weighs heavy on the mind, that’s for sure,” Fenton said, describing the process of coming back and using the hardship year. “The feeling of not knowing what could’ve been left a feeling in me that I don’t want to experience again.”

The player gave a shorter answer when asked about his decision to stay.

“I decided that we had unfinished business in Hutch and that I wasn’t gonna settle with the feeling of what could’ve been,” Fenton said. 

It is a tough thing to deal with and acknowledge, as seasons were cut short this spring. However, there might be some fuel to the fire, as redemption for a lost season is coming in 10 months.

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