Disappointment was an emotion shared by some of the senior athletes at Prairie Home High School who had their final season canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic
Like other schools throughout the state, Prairie Home's spring sports seasons were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this spring. With the end of the school year nearly here, seniors at Prairie Home shared their thoughts on the season they missed.
Clayton Pethan, who plays track and baseball, said when the season was first delayed indefinitely, he was disappointed but he still worked out, as he held hope athletics would eventually start up.
When the seasons were canceled, the news was shocking to Pethan, but he said he knew it was for the best.
"I was in shock but knew that it was probably the best case for everyone's safety," Pethan said.
Pethan said he had goals of going back to state in the triple jump for track and when it came to baseball, he said the team was looking to make a run in districts.
Pethan said his time as an athlete during high school was great.
"The last four years were great and (I) want to thank my coaches and teammates for all the memories we had," Pethan said.
Gabe Turner, Pethan's teammate on the track team, said he also felt disappointment when the season was first delayed. Turner, who was coming back from injury, felt good about the season before it was delayed.
"I was disappointed at first, not knowing if we're going to have a season or not," Turner said. "The anticipation eventually left as the hope of a season started to fade, but I felt like I was in good shape. I was coming back from an injury last year and I was hoping to set a couple PRs (personal records). Hearing the news was upsetting."
While the news of the season being canceled hurt for a while, Turner said he eventually moved on, though he wished he still could have participated in a season this year.
"Everyone is excited to play their senior year, so knowing I felt the same way as millions of other seniors was comforting," Turner said. "Just like everyone else, I wish I could go back and actually have a season, but it's for the better."
Turner had quite a few goals for himself going into this track season.
"I was hoping to throw over 100 (feet) in both javelin and discus, and I was hoping to get back into long and triple jump since my injury held me back last year," Turner said. "I was hoping to get past districts, as well as compete in the 4x100 meter relay in Sectionals as I did as a sophomore. All those goals were achievable, and of course, I wanted to support Clayton Pethan for triple jump at State again."
Despite his final season being canceled, Turner said he felt happy and satisfied with his time on the team.
"I took a year off my freshman year because I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it, but the past three years have been nothing short of a blast and something to remember," Turner said. "I hope that some of the younger kids or junior high kids looked up to some of us, especially as seniors, and better themselves and their team as they grow older. I wish every team or student realizes how good they have it now, and they need to realize how important their senior year is. I feel accomplished, and I'm full of gratitude for being to able to play a part on the team for my time at Prairie Home."
Mason Wells, who also was a dual-sport athlete in baseball and track, was similarly upset when the seasons were delayed.
"I didn't want it to happen, I hoped it would never happen," Wells said. "It was devastating when it did (happen). It felt like they took something away from us that we had no control over. I just kind of thought, 'Why would they do something like that?'"
Wells said his thoughts did not change when the seasons were canceled.
"I've always believed that you can't control it and just let the kids play. That's been my whole thing," Wells said.
Before the seasons were canceled, Wells said his goals were to win games and finish what he started in high school.
"Finish out high school and finishing out the bounds; getting to see your teammates, your classmates, feeling that connection that you did it," Wells said.
Wells said his time in sports during high school was great.
"I actually used to go to Bunceton and transferred over to Prairie Home and they let us in with welcoming hands," Wells said. "I wouldn't change anything."