For the past couple weeks, the Lone Star state has been hit hard by COVID-19, aka the coronavirus. Businesses have been limited, if not completely shut down, kids are out of school, there's no sports, a number of goods are flying off store shelves and people are practicing social distancing and other advice in order to limit this spreading pandemic.
The NBA, NHL and MLS have their seasons suspended until further notice, the NFL's offseason activities are limited, MLB has delayed the start of their season and college sports, from the NJCAA to the NCAA, have been cancelled for the spring.
Across the state, high school student-athletes hope and wait for the return of spring action, from baseball to softball to track and field and academics. For now, the set date to resume all UIL activity is May 4. This is truly an unprecedented time.
In the Henderson County area, two boys' basketball teams await the continuation of the UIL basketball state tournament: Martin's Mill and LaPoynor. Both teams clinched their trips to the Alamodome with remarkable seasons, with the Mustangs looking to cap off an undefeated campaign and the Flyers having not lost a contest since an 83-79 loss at Ferris on Dec. 27.
“We feel very fortunate and grateful that at least we did get to play our semifinal game,” said Flyers coach Dean Nuckolls.
“I was glad that my kids did get to play on the big stage. Not every classification was able to do so. They were very bummed to not get to come back and finish the tournament. They also understand that it was completely out of our control. All year, we try to teach to just control what you can. So mentally I think they understood that it was out of their control.
“I have had minimal contact with the team since then. Some have been asking to get in the gym to shoot. Obviously everything is locked up right now so I think the kids are just bored and tired of sitting at home.”
Indeed, and though there are numerous ways to get our sports, from online highlights to replays, live sports are the ultimate gateway.
The feeling of sitting at home watching live events and even attending local games, from little league to high school, is a remarkable part of our society. Coming out to support the kids in our community is what brings everyone together.
When this all blows over, nothing will be a sigh of relief than seeing the triumphant return of sports.