PRC senior athletes left in limbo due to suspended season

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Several programs at Pearl River Central High School were in the midst of their seasons as the spread of COVID-19 led the Mississippi High School Activities Association to suspend all athletic activities until April 17 at the earliest.

At that time the suspension is expected to be reevaluated.

The decision was made with the best interests of the public at heart, but it left senior athletes across the state wondering if they’d get another chance to competitively play the sport they loved in high school.

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PRC is no different since programs like softball, baseball, and others are shut down until further notice.

Madi Glidewell is a senior catcher for the Lady Blue Devils softball team and said that while the rumors were swirling, she never thought her final season would get put on hold.

“When I first heard them it broke my heart for everyone who had their seasons suspended because I couldn’t imagine in a million years that happening to me and my team. Then it just hit all of us at once, this is it,” Glidwell said.

Glidewell is in the same position as thousands of athletes across the nation wondering if they’ve played their final game of their high school career.

Not only that, but with practices canceled as well, the athletes aren’t getting in the work they’d usually get during a normal season.

Austin Diebold is a senior pitcher for the Blue Devils baseball team and said the aspect of baseball he misses the most is the camaraderie and relationships formed with fellow teammates.

These are athletes who have known each for years, some even spending more time with their teammates than their parents, but now can’t even get together to take batting practice.

“I miss just hanging out with them every day, practicing and the competition with each other. I just miss seeing them every day and being a part of their life,” Diebold said.

Elliot Harwell is a senior track athlete for the Blue Devils who said he’d been looking forward to the season because he wanted to best his times from last year.

Now Elliot doesn’t know if he’ll have that opportunity, which he said is something underclassmen athletes should be aware of.

Harwell has been hard at work for years to hone his craft and he tried passing those lessons learned on to the younger athletes.

“I would say to underclassmen to not give up and push through because there’s something much more than just placing and being content with what you have,” Harwell said.

There’s still a possibility the seasons resume at some point, but it’s not guaranteed.

Glidewell said in previous years senior athletes had warned her and other underclassmen about how quickly time passes before their careers come to an end.

Now, as she’s sitting at home missing the game she loves, Glidewell is left hoping she gets one more opportunity to put on a Blue Devil uniform.

“We thought we had more time and we didn’t, and now that we aren’t able to play we’re sitting back wishing we could be out there. I don’t care if it’s hot or if we have to run a lot, just let me be on the field one last time,” Glidewell said.