With OSAA’s decision to cancel all remaining spring activities and sports to stem the spread of the coronavirus, local senior athletes are watching an exciting time of their life slip away and grappling with what it all means.
“It is what it is,” Grant Union senior Drew Lusco said.
Lusco, who signed to play football with Eastern Oregon University, said he was looked forward to playing a sport each season as he has since sixth grade.
The senior said his goal this year was to make it to the state championships in shot put or discus. Instead, he said he has been working for a local rancher to stay busy.
Lusco said he misses seeing his classmates everyday as well. The Grant Union valedictorian said he is looking forward to some type of graduation ceremony.
For Prairie City’s Rilee Emmel, track and field, though not her primary sport, was a way for her to get out and enjoy some physical activity.
“I just liked being outside,” Emmel said.
These days Emmel said she has been helping out at the family ranch.
“I’ve just been trying to stay busy with whatever I can,” she said.
Emmel, who will attend Treasure Valley Community College next year, said she does not plan to do track at TVCC, so this would have been her last year.
Last year, the Prairie Track and Field team made it to the district championship. Although Emmel did not make it to state, two of her teammates did, and it was a great experience.
Emmel said, more than sports and other activities, what she misses the most about the cancelation is seeing everyone each day.
“I hoped that we would at least go back to school,” Emmel said.
Grant Union softball player Sequoya Swearingen said she is missing the bonding and camaraderie that came with being on the softball team.
“No matter how much we bickered and argued off the field, we were always family on the field,” she said.
Swearingen said another aspect of missing out on her senior year is not getting to have a senior night.
“You hear about it your whole life growing up,” Swearingen said, “and now we don’t get to experience it.”