VYPE U: How High School Seniors Are Affected by COVID-19
Every student dreams of not having to go to school and getting an extended summer, that is until it happens and the reality of it all sets in. The COVID-19 pandemic has made all schools convert to virtual learning now with most colleges completely shutting campus down for the rest of this semester. Most high schools have not made the decision on whether students will be returning or not; they are playing everything by ear.
High school seniors have been one of the hardest hit. Although walking across a stage in a tacky and unflattering cap and gown may seem like something one could live without, these students have worked for over twelve years to hear their name called and move their tassel to the other side of their cap. Senior year also comes with memories like no other - senior prom, the chance of winning prom king and queen, senior trips, senior pranks, and other special traditions based on the school, and of course, the last time they will ever walk the halls as a high school student. All of these are in jeopardy of being taken away, something all the seniors are hoping and praying won't happen.
There's also the athletes, whose seasons are most likely coming to an end, cutting their dreams short. Spring sports had only just begun before this pandemic shook our world. Fall sports had their full seasons, last chances at a state championship, recognition on senior nights, and plenty of opportunities to receive offers to play at the next level. These dedicated young men and women are continuing to push themselves by working on their skills and strength just in case there is chance to play even just one last game. These athletes are hurting, devastated and scared they had played their last game without knowing.
Foster High School recently lost one of their own, Sam Brown. Brown excelled at pitching his first varsity baseball game, which also happened to be his last game before passing. The next game the Falcons had, they poured out their love for Sam. There was a prayer and a moment of silence dedicated to him and his family before the game. Foster went on to win the game after senior Walker Ashley hit a two-run walk off, bringing the final score to 7-5. Coincidentally 7 was Sam's varsity number. After talking to a few of the senior baseball players it is clear to see that the even though it would be their last high school game, they would be okay with it because of how the game went, how beautiful the memories were, and all agreed that it couldn't be topped by any other game.
After talking to both the senior Foster baseball players and all the other senior Foster athletes, it is clear to see they are not ready to give up their last season. To stay ready and prepared for the possibility of playing again these athletes are continuing to stay in shape by eating right and working out. They are also keeping their mind sharp by exercising and keeping a positive attitude in all the chaos. The athletes routinely alternate between workouts given by the coaches and practicing their skills for their specific sport.
It's hard to keep your head up amongst all the unknowns involved with the COVID-19 pandemic, but senior athletes are built to be strong not only physically but also mentally. They take everything day by day, controlling what they can and hoping that they will be able to play even one more high school game.