CHAMPION, Ohio (WKBN) – The OHSAA made things official Tuesday, cancelling all high school spring sports for the academic year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The news has a wide-ranging impact locally, in particular for the Champion softball team. The Golden Flashes were in pursuit of their fourth straight State Championship this spring and now those seniors won’t get that chance.
“It’s an awful feeling,” said senior Allison Smith. “It was our last year and we had a lot we could seal the deal on and accomplish.”
“It is what it is, you know, we just have so many memories,” said senior Sophie Howell. “I just really wish that we could’ve went for that fourth year and hopefully gotten another ring.”
This group of seniors was poised to make it back to Akron, having already set numerous school and state records and on pace to break many more.
“Everyone was like, this could be a four-peat, you could make so much history, no one’s done this before,” said senior Abbi Grace.”I’m always going to wonder now, what if we could have got that? We could’ve had that chance, what would have happened?”
“It was very disappointing to know that I’m never going to get to play again,” said Savannah Dodrill. “I actually had the chance to play with my sister this year.”
“I’m not pursuing softball after this year so this was my last year to actually do something that I really love,” said senior Katie Jones.
For three out of the five seniors, this was their last chance to play competitive softball.
Sophie Howell is heading to play for YSU next year while Allison Smith is on scholarship to play at Ohio State.
“As badly as we wanted that fourth state championship, I wanted the memories of going to Cracker Barrel after the games,” said Smith. “I wanted the memories of scavenger hunts, I wanted the memories of putting a goat in Coach Weaver’s yard. There was so much more to this softball team than just that state championship.”
Through it all, these five seniors have continued to stay positive and they have one last message for their fans.
“From the champion softball seniors, we love you, Class of 2020! We love our champion community, we love our front line personnel, we love our administration and teachers, and most importantly, Happy Birthday, Coach Weaver!”