WEST JEFFERSON — Much of the world has changed since the start of 2020, with everything from government to grocery shopping feeling the effects of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. One of many things to be shut down in the shower of social distancing was sports, potentially ending the high school spring season before it could really get going.
While all athletes around the world are affected, the shutdown of sports has potentially barred high school seniors from enjoying one last season with their teams and schools.
At Ashe County High School, Athletic Director David Koontz has found a way to highlight seniors who should be on the field instead of self-quarantine.
The videos are available on YouTube, each featuring a different athlete. As of presstime, 11 athletes have been highlighted, including women’s soccer’s Julia Bassett, softball’s Cierra Burgess and track and field’s Grady Rector.
“I’ve been using the video conferencing to interview them, just trying to give them that spotlight for a day,” Koontz said.
In total, the Huskies have 25 seniors on spring teams.
“It’s been fun, it’s been a lot of fun. We’ve gotten some really good feedback from parents and community members saying, ‘Thank you,’” Koontz said. He added other schools have done impromptu senior nights before the season was suspended, but the Huskies only had a tennis match hours after the announcement and not enough time to put something together.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association originally announced March 12 that play would be suspended until Monday, April 6. However, the suspension was extended to May 18, following the closure of schools until at least May 15.
The Ashe Athletics YouTube channel can be found HERE.