It was supposed to be their last hurrah as high school athletes.
The 2020 spring sports season in Wisconsin was supposed to allow seniors an opportunity to step on the playing field one last time before graduation and share quality time with teammates during victories and defeats.
Yet, all of that has been put into limbo. In March, WIAA announced the suspension of the spring sports season to protect student athletes from the spread of the coronavirus. Gov. Tony Evers has announced all Wisconsin schools will stay closed through April 23 with hopes that will keep the disease under control.
This has been frustrating to senior student athletes, who wanted another chance to play in front of their classmates, parents and other family members. Now, that chance may not come. Senior Maeve Christlieb, a member of the McFarland High School girls soccer team, said her teammates are heartbroken.
“Us seniors may have very well played our last game up on the turf,” said Christlieb. “It’s very frustrating, because we have all been working so hard in the weight room, during club season, open gyms for the past nine months, and now we don’t know if we will ever get to showcase our hard work.”
Christlieb said her teammates were also excited about the upcoming season and the possibility of the Spartans making a deep run in the WIAA Division 3 postseason. She is hopeful that somehow the season can be salvaged.
“Alas, nothing is final and as of right now the season is just postponed,” Christlieb said. “So, we are all working extra hard to really get in shape and be prepared for a moment’s notice to get back on the field.”
Christlieb’s teammate, senior Greta Corcoran, is also frustrated by the events of the last several weeks and never thought the cancellation of girls soccer would be a possibility.
“Every girl returning has been waiting for this season since June 6 of last year when we lost to Belleville (on penalty kicks) in the sectional semifinal,” Corcoran said. “With half the team being seniors, we wanted this year to be as amazing as possible. We want an undefeated season, conference championship, regional and sectional championship, and even a state championship. This year, we have a real chance to go to the state tournament. From here, we can only continue to have hope; to have our last season, go to our last prom, go on our senior trip and eventually in June, walk across the stage at graduation, and hopefully be holding a gold ball in our hands.”
The possibility of a cancelled spring sports season has also been lingering in the mind of Monona Grove High School softball senior Brooklyn Miller. She said some questions have been continually going through her head.
“I’ve been thinking the past couple of days, ‘What if I don’t hear my name called on senior night?’ or ‘What if I never get to play high school softball again?’” Miller said. “And it breaks my heart, because this is my final season of school ball. It all went by so fast. I feel like freshman year was yesterday.”
Yet, Miller also expressed hope that the severity of the virus would diminish soon, and the Silver Eagles would soon be back on the softball field, even if it means playing fewer games.
McFarland High School softball senior Erin Eggers is also disappointed that she might not get to play this season before high school comes to an end.
“It’s hard to know you could have played your last game without even knowing it,” Eggers said. “I’m sad I might not get a chance to create a bond with our new team this year or see how far we can go. The one thing I believe in is having hope, and I know that over time things will get better and we might even have a chance to play again.”
The 2019 McFarland team came within one game of going to the WIAA Division 2 state tournament but lost to Monroe in the sectional final at Evansville.