Panhandle student-athletes and coaches react to spring sports being canceled

Local Sports

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Fields and gyms all around the Panhandle will continue to be bare as the FHSAA announced Monday that spring sports were canceled for this year.

Many coaches having to tell their players that the season was officially over.

“This is my fifteenth year at Bozeman and we’ve had seasons and I’ve got some stuff to fall back on and I’ll have more seasons,” Bozeman head baseball coach Jeff Patton said. “But for some of them, they are in a limited space with just four years. I don’t know how they are doing, I’m sure they are heartbroken.”

Senior student-athletes affected the most as some played their final game or had their last meet without even realizing it would be the end of their high school career.

“I was excited to play our last game, but we played our last game without even knowing it,” senior North Bay Haven softball player Katie Walters said.

Others were just happy they were able to accomplish as much as they did within the four years.

“I would call it a great book without the ending. I was able to do so much with the sport. I’ve coached on the state floor three years in a row, I was a call out judge this year, I won the state championship last year,” senior Altha weightlifter Jackson Goins said. “I’ve been able to do almost everything I’ve wanted to do in the sport, I just need that one more meet.”

Even though these seniors are sad they didn’t get the ending they deserve, they realize there are some valuable lessons to take away from the situation.

“It just goes to show to play every game like it’s your last, every at bat, every step you take, it can always be your last and this really just proves that,” senior North Bay Haven softball player Kylie Burch said.

Coach Patton also said it may make these athletes realize what they have when they do get to return to the field.

“Maybe it will cause some kids to work a little bit harder in the offseason or not take for granted a game against anybody or an at bat or a practice rep,” Patton said. “I bet those kids would love for me to be yelling at them right now on that practice field.”

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