JCHS soccer, track seniors mourn loss of final chance to compete
Soccer season was about half finished when the shutdown came. Track season had just started.
But for the last seven weeks, the Jones County High athletes in those two sports have been sidelined, unable to complete their seasons due to the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
It has been especially hard on the senior Greyhounds who had no warning their high school careers would end in mid stride.
“We were at just our second meet when we got the word that they were shutting us down,” senior track sprinter Mya. Brezial said. “We thought at first we would get to start back up after a break, but then they said no. I’ve been running track since I was a little girl, and we didn’t get to have my senior season. It really hurts.
“I think we had a chance to do very well at region and go to state, especially our relay teams. But we didn’t get to run.”
Soccer senior Trevor Harry said he also thought there would be some type of finish to the season when the halt was first announced on March 13.
“I guess we didn’t know the severity of all this at first. Mat I really hate is I didn’t know my last game was going to be my last game,” he said. “I wish we had at least one more chance to play.”
Their coaches say they thought their teams had a chance to advance to the playoffs this season.
“We’ve had some good distance runners for several years, but this season I believe we were going to have some strong sprinters as well,” track coach Jay Floyd said. “I was really excited by the speed we showed with our relay teams in the two meets we did have. And we had some strong throwers. But then we had to shut down. I feel so bad for the seniors.”
“I cried and cried when they said we wouldn’t be able to start back up,” girls’ soccer coach Mikayla Greene said. “I felt so bad for our girls, but especially the seniors. They have worked so hard to get the program established. I think we were on the verge of being like softball where the girls believe they are supposed to be competing for region titles and making deep runs in the state playoffs every year. But we didn’t get the chance this year.”
Boys’ soccer coach Will Gallamore said the Greyhounds had a bit of a rough start, with rain early in the season making it tough to get on a roll.
“But we were coming together as a team and I thought we had a chance to make a good run in region and get to state,” he said. “I feel so bad for our seniors. A couple maybe had a shot at attracting attention from college programs, but now I don’t know.”
Senior Jonathan Sorrell was one of them.
“I thought I might have a chance (to sign to play in college), but it will be OK. I’m going to Kennesaw State. They have a club team, and I may try to play some there.
“What I really hate is all the other senior stuff we’re missing. My mom’s parents were going to come from the Philippines for my graduation, but now that’s off. It’s sad, but we’re making do”
Jontavis Robertson, a wide receiver in football and sprinter for the track team, was especially sorry to not have a senior track season.
He has signed to play football at Duke, so this was his last chance to compete in track.
“People might not know it since I’m going to play college football, but track has always been my favorite sport. I didn’t get to run my junior year because I broke my ankle (in an all-star football game after his junior season). So I was really looking forward to running my senior year, and now that’s gone, too.”
All of the seniors said they have tried to stay in touch with friends by phone or the internet, but it hasn’t been the same as being with them in person and getting to compete together on their teams.
“We’ve missed a lot, but I guess we all have to adjust and get on with our lives,” Harry said.
“We asked for a memorable senior year, but we sure didn’t think it would be like this,” said Sorrell.