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Autumn Thompson
ASU Student Journalist

Highland sports dealing with reality of COVID-19

April 5, 2020 by Autumn Thompson, Arizona State University

Highland High School (Photo by: Highland High School website)

Within the last couple of weeks, COVID-19 has caused the cancellation of sports seasons, forced classes to be done remotely, postponed college graduations and more. 

Highland High School is one of the many schools affected by these drastic changes. Highland athletic director Brandon Larson explained the harsh reality athletes are dealing with.

“The biggest thing is to make sure everyone comes out of this healthy,” Larson said. “If there is a season left to play then at that time we will need to make sure we have a plan for getting the athletes back into the season as fast as we can, while still taking into account their safety.”

As for the many seniors at Highland, softball coach Brian Schmidt described it as being “a tough situation”.

“For our seniors, it will be devastating to not get to finish on the field with games and their senior night,” said Schmidt.

The softball team had been practicing since October. According to Schmidt, the team was off to a strong start and improving every day. The team’s record was 5-2 before it was cut short.

Senior night is one of the most anticipated games for almost every high school athlete. Larson described the seniors as “competitors."

“It is tough on them,” Larson said. “You work your entire career to play your last season and have something completely out of your control happen, it is devastating.”

Baseball coach Erik Kehoe was very excited about this season, his first season with Highland. The team’s record was 2-5 for the season. 

“It is a complete shutdown, it is a weird feeling for the players and all of us coaches,” said Kehoe. “The players are having a hard time understanding what all is going on.”

Athletes are now obligated to get an education remotely, as well as practice on their own without a team. Many of the baseball and softball players have been taking reps at home to stay up to speed in case the season starts back up. 

According to Larson, many of the athletes have been getting creative with their workouts to keep working out from home fun. 

“We are keeping our fingers crossed that school and sports can return this season,” said Schmidt.