Jason Bowen

The announcement came as no surprise.

But that did not make it any easier to accept.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday that schools would remain closed through the end of the school year due to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). 

And with that, the 2020 spring sports seasons are over.

People will say it’s only sports. In the grand schemes of things, yes, those people are correct. 

We are dealing with something unprecedented for us, and tough decisions are being made. We understand why this school/sports shutdown decision happened. We get it. We do not fault it. We are all experiencing the same health concerns, as well as the educational and financial ones, too. 

But that doesn’t mean those involved with spring sports can’t be upset over losing something so important to them. Athletes, coaches and fans have the right to be sad, angery or frustrated that it is over.

Just think about being a senior athlete whose high school sports career officially ended during a press conference. That’s off the chart unfair.

But such is life, as lessons are often taught in the cruelest of ways. This lesson is cruel. Very cruel.

We had teams that were going to win area and sectional titles, win state championships. We had athletes who were going to rise to the occasion and go down in the lore of their school’s sports history. 

Now idle fields and empty stands are just another reminder of how much our world has been turned upside down.

I’m extremely sad for spring sports athletes, especially the seniors. I thank them for all the fun memories and good times they provided me while I covered their teams and their games, matches or meets.

All we are left with are schedules that were not finished and years of wondering “what if.”

The 2019-20 high school sports year in Jackson County produced so many memorable moments. Unfortunately, it had an unimaginable ending.

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