What to say to the Class of 2020 and senior athletes we’ve had the joy of covering in The Anniston Star’s coverage area?
Sorry hardly seems to do it and doesn’t give back what’s lost.
As a father watching my near-14-year-old miss his friends, I can only imagine the impact of that aspect, alone, for seniors who hoped to have these final two months of school together.
For senior athletes active in baseball, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and track, it was the last season. Thanks to rain, the last season came in fits and starts. Thanks to a global pandemic, the last season ended well before senior night.
It’s the end of the world as you know it, and no explanation from state and national decision makers can change how you feel.
I won’t try to, but join me for a look into the future.
The Class of 2020 came into shook world, freshly engaged in what became our nation’s longest war. It started in your diaper years and carried deep into your cap-and-gown year.
You’ll graduate as our nation tries to extract itself from Afghanistan and a global pandemic.
You’ll graduate as peers from other parts of the country fight the threat, as they see it, from guns in their hallways.
You’ve never known normal, not like those of us who graduated before you knew.
You’ll graduate into a world that has seemingly done nothing but fight. The message we trust, all too often, comes from our philosophical tribe.
Please be better than us that way.
You’ll graduate into a world which suddenly finds itself forced to act together or die. Did you ever think you’d see the United States Senate vote 96-0 on anything?
Social media is so much a part of your world. Have you noticed even trolls posting tell-me-something-about-you question lists? Anything to feel better about the news.
Your tears flow today and will flow for weeks, until the last date and last fast-twitch urge of the last season pass.
You’re not alone. I just talked to a coach who cried on the phone. All it took was talking about seniors, about you. It was about his frustrated urge to do something, anything, to make it better for you.
He can’t even have a team meeting because of necessary “social distancing.”
No doubt your teachers feel the same, missing you in their classrooms. They miss seeing their part in your lives to its conclusion.
No doubt all of us who cross your paths, even if it’s only to watch you play and struggle for words worthy of your accomplishments, hurt for you today.
We hurt for you, but we also can’t wait for you.
We can’t wait to see you turn all that you’ve experienced, all that you’ve seen, into what you become. We thank you in advance for all that you will do for us.
—Ohatchee running back Domonique Thomas has chosen his college destination. The senior says he’s committed to Union College, an NAIA school in Barbourville, Ky.
“They’re giving me a full ride and going to start me next year,” Thomas said.
He said he likely won’t have a signing ceremony because of the COVID-19 pandemic and social-distancing guidelines.
Thomas was a first-team Alabama Sports Writers Association all-state pick and finalist for ASWA Class 2A back of the year. He was The Anniston Star’s 1A-3A All-Calhoun County player of the year and the Class 2A, Area 6 offensive player of the year in 2018 and 2019.
He carried 170 times for 2,020 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2019, averaging 11.88 yards per carry and 183.6 per game.
A three-year starter, he amassed 588 carries, 5,134 yards, 74 rushing touchdowns and 87 total touchdowns with just two fumbles. Six of his touchdowns came on special teams and one on defense.
—Georgia has joined the fray of top college football programs to offer Oxford athlete Trequon Fegans, making its offer to Fegans on Thursday morning. The Bulldogs join Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, UAB, Southern Miss, Middle Tennessee, Arkansas State “and many more,” Oxford coach Keith Etheredge said.
A 6-foot-2, 180-pound sophomore, Fegans was a second-team selection on the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 6A all-state team as a defensive back. He also saw time at running back, scoring the winning touchdown in Oxford’s 14-13 victory over Spanish Fort in the 6A title game.
Here’s the list of 2019-20 Calhoun County varsity championship events, with champions in parenthesis for completed events. The end of the list is depressing, though we all understand the circumstances:
• Volleyball (Alexandria)
• Cross country (White Plains boys and girls)
• Wrestling (Oxford)
• Basketball (Oxford boys, Anniston girls)
• Tennis, Red Wilder Invitational (Oxford boys, Donoho girls)
• Baseball (Piedmont)
• Soccer, April 2-4, Choccolocco Park (canceled)
• Golf, April 3-4, Pine Hill Country Club (canceled)
• Track and field, April 7, Choccolocco Park (canceled)
• Softball, April 7-10, Choccolocco Park (canceled)
Contact Anniston Star Sports Writer Joe Medley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @jmedley_star.