Hawks athletes, coach look at the season that could have been

Sean Cordy - Correspondent
Cale Pritchett competes during a track meet last season. This year’s season has been canceled because of COVID-19. PHOTO BY SEAN CORDY/THE PERRY CHIEF

Woodward-Granger’s season was over before it started.

But the Hawks aren’t the only ones that will miss out on their track and field or golf seasons. After Gov. Kim Reynolds issued the decision to cancel classes for the rest of the 2019-20 school year, all extracurricular activities have been shuttered as well to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

More on the pending decision for baseball and softball to come as the IHSAA will make an announcement for summer sports by June 1.

In the meantime, the Hawks are left picking up the pieces to the season that will never come. Senior star Emma Drake is one of those left with a huge gap in her schedule as she anticipated a fourth appearance at the state track meet.

“Honestly, I think not having the opportunity to go to State one last time is one of the biggest disappointments about this whole situation,” Drake wrote to the Perry Chief.

Drake finished with a career-best time to take ninth overall in the 800 meter run last year as a junior. She also competed in the state 4x800 relay all three years of her career, and would be the only returning member this year as a senior leader.

In preparation to get back to Drake Stadium, the senior ran workouts in Granger and at Jester Park in hopes of a rescheduled season starting in May, so that she could hit her best times to climb the leaderboards again.

Walking into an entirely different situation, first-year track coach Andrew Hopper will have to wait another year to see his team compete.

Due to the boys basketball state appearance, official practice for both track teams started a week late, leaving them with an abbreviated schedule of mandatory practice. From what he saw of the team’s potential, he said it is “extremely disappointing to have my first season as a head coach cut short” but ultimately knows that the cancellation is best for the team and community’s safety.

Senior Cale Pritchett echoed those same thoughts, understanding the state’s decision is in the interest of safety and health.

That doesn’t entirely bandage the disappointment of unknowingly running his last race as a junior. This year he planned to run in the 200 and 400 meter dashes.

“I’m going to miss running especially this year because it is my last and I will never get the opportunity again. I was looking forward to being a role model to the underclassman this year,” Pritchett wrote.

While his time on the track was cut short, he said he was at least grateful that he had a chance to act as a leader for the wrestling and football team.