What if ...

Spring 2020 played havoc with our sports dreams

I know, I know …

It’s been done to death.

The cancellation of spring sports during the COVID-19 pandemic has been gone over with a fine-tooth comb and been dissected like a frog on a freshman biology class table.

But what if?

That’s part of the beauty about spring sports: They come at the time of year when everything is starting to come out of a gray winter, and hope is, truly, in the air.

It is only at the end of the season that you find out how good, or bad, your team is. But it’s a fun journey, isn’t it?

The year 2020, to this point, has an almost surreal quality about it.

There was so much to look forward to: area baseball diamonds and soccer pitches; new faces to see; new dreams to pursue.

Some dreams did come true, though. Trace Wandell inked a baseball scholarship. Others did as well.

But what if?

We were on the brink of being able to watch athletes — male and female — play THEIR sports; to see them in action during their final high school season.

Do you know how many talented softball players Anderson County and Clinton High School were about to put on the field?

We were so close.

And as cruel as having those pre-season dreams shut down was, think about the Oak Ridge High School boys basketball team.

They were something like two days away from traveling to the state tournament, and it was canceled.

After a grueling regular season — and basketball is grueling — all that work, that preparation was suddenly made mute.

The state tournament. Canceled.

Way back in the day when Aaron Green was just a freshman at Sweetwater High School, I was the sports editor in Monroe County.

Green was our “Freshman of the Year.” I saw him win two state championships with the Wildcats of Sweetwater during his career. I was on hand when he inked his scholarship papers with the University of Tennessee and then head coach Kevin O’Neill.

Ancient history, I know, but Aaron was a good kid and I was pleased to see his success.

I wished I could have seen it in Murfreesboro in the spring of 2020.

Maybe the athletes of the Class of 2020 are the “What if” class.

Maybe not.

But it sure would have been a fun ride to watch them.