As they counted down the days back in March prior to the start of spring sports at Floyd County, there were plenty of teams feeling good about the future.
After all, there was a good amount of success from 2019 to build upon.
- The softball team had claimed the Region 2C championship.
- As did the boys track and field team.
- And the boys tennis team earned a spot in the Class 2 state tournament by finishing second in the region, and the girls track team placed third at regionals.
“I was hoping to beat a few school records this year, and place all-state in my event,” said Buffaloes’ senior sprinter Haleigh Hamlin. “It’s the one year that you really, really look forward to, so it’s kind of hard.”
Hamlin says there’s more races ahead for her — she has accepted an offer to compete next season for the Bridgewater women’s track team.
But many other seniors found their athletic careers come to a halt when the coronavirus pandemic led to Virginia schools being closed, and that was followed by the VHSL canceling the last few days of winter sports, as well as all of the spring events.
“It was really hard at first, knowing that a lot of the people that I see in high school, I’m never going to see again,” Hamlin said. “But I’m just trying to take it day by day, talk to as many people as I can, keep in touch, and roll with the punches.”
The list goes on:
- Caleb Webb, who played both baseball and football for the Buffaloes through high school, was one of just two seniors on Floyd County’s preseason baseball roster and was looking forward to one more trip around the Three Rivers District.
“It sucked, having our season taken away, but I think there’s bigger problems than just a high school sport,” said Webb, who plans to attend Virginia Tech to study human nutrition, food and exercise. “We’ve got to have our worldwide health better.”
- Jacob Hall, a member of the boys track team, said he will probably attend New River Community College in the fall. He planned to make a final decision after track season had ended — hoping to gain some scholarship opportunities.
“I didn’t care much about myself, but our relay team,” he said. “It had four juniors and we got really close to the school record last year. For three of us, it was our first year [on the team]. We were really just looking forward to seeing how we could do this year.”
- But it could have been worse, according to Braden Chaffin, a standout on Floyd County’s football team. He said missing football season would’ve been more painful than missing track, which he will.
Chaffin said he’s been seeing his friends “a lot less” since schools are closed, and has been spending his time working with his dad, who owns a taxidermy business.
“It’s pretty good, just a little difficult to learn,” Chaffin said of taxidermy. “It’s kind of like an art, you’ve got to practice with it, and make it look good.”