The COVID crisis affects signing seniors of 2021


Greg Artman

Burns (13) in offensive play against Hillsboro.

From the start of 2020, COVID-19 has been a dark cloud thundering across the face of our planet. Beginning with overflowing hospitals and quarantine to the passing of loved ones and unemployment, this pandemic has brought hardship to us all. As we began the journey of online school this fall, it was clear nothing would be the same.

Although we all are negatively impacted, the graduating senior class faces particular challenges. Many rites of passage may be affected: prom, graduation and who knows what may come next. Fall and winter sports show no hope for completion of a final season, and this has greater consequences than one may imagine.

Adam Landy, senior soccer star at Wilsonville High School shares his struggles with the new restrictions. “My high school senior season is shortened due to COVID rules and now we are playing in the spring,” he states. He then continues, “We also play with masks on and have much stricter rules when it comes to contact.” Landy goes on to explain how practices have been optional resulting in low turnout and affecting the team as a whole. Many seniors are very disappointed in the cancellation of their sports, while their final year is memorable but also imperative to their futures. 

As the days shorten and the leaves change color, athletes complete the signing process that will decide important aspects regarding the next few years ahead. The recruiting stages begin after a high school student-athlete is invited to play sports for a specific college by an employee or representative from that college. This can occur after phone calls, text messaging, mailed material, or face-to-face contact. Oftentimes coaches will gather to see specific athletes play in hopes of recruiting. Others will invite players to camps or events where they can be observed. Coronavirus has made this process more difficult than in previous years as camps and games were canceled leaving the coaches limited ways to complete the recruiting process.

Adam Landy shares his experience with the recent difficulty this has caused. “Right now we aren’t allowed to be seen by many coaches, which pauses the recruiting process.” He goes on, “A lot of players, like me, are having to wait for COVID to be dealt with before they can visit and be evaluated by coaches… they also cancelled a lot of camps where kids are usually assessed.” Athletes have been forced to send in film as the only resource for college coaches, thus possibly limiting their chances of acceptance into certain collegiate programs.

Although it comes with much difficulty, the work pays off and the reward is sweet. Incredible basketball player Sydney Burns signed with UC Davis after making a verbal commitment just this May. “COVID first impacted my junior season when we couldn’t finish the state tournament, but it has now impacted my senior season because it seems like we might not have one.” Burns explains, “This year we have had only a couple outdoor practices limited to no contact or live drills.” She was one of the lucky few to have been recognized before the worst of the virus but still has experienced the hardships this pandemic brings. 

Though it poses an immense challenge, seniors are finding ways through these tricky circumstances and achieving their goals. Good luck to the graduating class of 2021 in your many endeavors this year!