Editor’s note: To put a face with the name of those affected, over two pages we are presenting this look at the seniors who saw their athletic careers end abruptly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday of last week the Arkansas Activities Association officially extended a dead period for member schools through the end of May.
The move came two days after state officials extended the closing of school campuses through the end of May.
While the AAA’s Wednesday announcement did not specifically say spring sports were finished, an announcement on Thursday did.
In terms of South Logan County that means high school careers ended for 21 athletes competing in baseball, softball, track, and or shooting sports, the later of which had already been canceled by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.
In Booneville there are two baseball players, two softball players, three track athletes, and five who were participating in shooting sports.
In Magazine there is one baseball player, two softball players, seven track athletes, and one shooting sports participant, with two students involved in multiple sports.
Gabe Fennell was off to a great start, for the Bearcats throwing eight shutout innings in his two starts against Ozark and Atkins. He won both games while allowing just three hits and striking out 14.
At first Cam Brasher wasn’t going to play baseball for the first time, but he changed his mind. The cost for missing practice was 240 foul pole runs and sitting the first two games, so the catcher’s season was one game when play was stopped. He had two hits againt Atkins.
Magazine’s Dalton Angel was the only senior on the roster, making a return to the game as a last hoorah of sorts before graduating.
In the first three games Lady Bearcat third baseman Shelby Posey was hitting .818 with a home run and nine RBI, with the home run meaning she hit at leaste one all four years she played.
Center fielder and leadoff hitter Baylee Moses had also smacked a home run for the third straight year and was hitting .385 with seven RBI when the season was halted.
An outfielder/pitcher and multiple sport participant in Magazine, Taryn Leslie drew three walks and pitched the final inning of the Lady Rattlers’ only win in their three tries this season. She also drew a walk and reached base twice against Danville.
Moving from the sidelines as a cheerleader for football and basketball to the dugout, Hope Canada was also an outfielder for the Lady Rattlers and had come off the bench in one game and started another.
Evan Schlinker was off to a sizzling start for the Bearcats. He won the triple jump for 3A at the state indoor meet and followed that up with a win in the long jump and triple jump and running a leg of the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams that both won their events at Bearcat Relays.
Ethan Pirraglia, who has signed to play football at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., was second in the shot put at Bearcat Relays.
Cort Mizell, who was third at the state indoor meet in the shot, had a third place put at Bearcat Relays.
Magazine’s most affected sport in terms of total athletes is track where there are four senior boys and three girls.
Caleb Hyatt won the shot put for 2A at the indoor meet then followed that up with a discus win at Bearcat Relays in Booneville and a shot put win at Bearcat Relays in Mena.
Jacob Hall was fourth in the triple jump, sixth in the long jump and ran a leg of the 4x400-meter realy team that placed third at the indoor meet. He had also placed eighth in the triple jump at Mena.
Xeng Yang was fourth in the 60-meter hurdles and also ran a leg of the 4x400 at the indoor meet before placing second in both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles at Bearcat Relays, where he was also third in the discus.
Bryce McDowell figured to be involved in the throwing events once the season got moving and especially at a district meet.
Hannah Green won the pole vault at the Booneville meet and was eighth in the 100-meter dash at the meet. She had also been sixth in the triple jump at the 2A indoor meet.
Leslie was a second place medalist in the triple jump at the indoor meet were she was also fifth in the long jump and sixth in the 200-meter dash. She was fifth in the long jump at Bearcat Relays.
Sarai Parrish, the other multiple sport senior in the group, had placed sixth in the shot put at the 2A indoor meet.
There are four Booneville boys who were shooting for the last time in Dominc Helms, Ayden Brown, Hudson Rogers and Jonathon Wilkinson.
The lone senior girl, Karlee Hill, was no slouch with the gun. She has posted perfect rounds in practice.
Helms and Brown are first squad shooters and also competed at the national shoot last July in Michigan. Helms was all state for the clay target league and both were members of conference champs for the league and state runners up for the league.
Hill was on second squad last year, as was Wilkinson but both were giving the top five a run for moving up this year.
Parrish is the only senior shooter for a Magazine squad and had had a practice this year in which she hit 18 straight targets.