REGIONAL – The devastating news all coaches, and players had been hoping would not come arrived April 17. Texas Governor Greg Abbott shut down all schools in Texas for the remainder of the year, and hours later the UIL released a statement, following in line with Abbott’s ruling. All 2019-20 spring activities and state championships are canceled.
“I’m incredibly saddened for my team and our seniors. No one wants their senior year to end this way. They have worked so hard to get to where they were when the schools were closed, and our season was temporarily suspended. Our team had found their rhythm with each other. I know with the talent we had on our team this season was going to be something special. At this time, we want to cherish the memories we made and honor our seniors the best way we can. We want to look forward and keep our athletes focused for next year,” Sinton head softball coach Audra Troutman said.
Woodsboro softball coach Jaime Cano agrees with the decision of schools closing for the remainder of the year.
“As a coach you always want to complete the season for your school, your players and especially the seniors. As a teacher you miss your students and all the crazy antics and conversations you have with every single one of them. They all have a special place in your heart. As a citizen we have to keep the health of our communities in the best interest. I just hope and pray that the decision of opening up businesses is a well thought out process that keeps the health of our youth, our communities and our elderly in mind,” Cano said.
He went on to add, “living in the small community of Woodsboro has had its advantages, don’t think any of our businesses were affected, they are all essential. My plans are to stay vigilant of health issues in our communities; because of my underlying medical conditions it would be really devastating to me and my family. Also, going to continue to encourage our students to complete their class work and the athletes to continue to work out ’til the official end of school year 2019-2020. Two-a-days will be here sooner than they think. To the senior Class of 2020, God bless and stay strong.”
First year Mathis head baseball coach Eric Martinez praised his seniors.
“We will lose four-year starter Juan Soto who started for former coaches Sergio Espinal and Rene Chavez. He’s been Mathis’ most complete and durable player all his four years, but we will definitely be a strong group next year with more experience” Martinez said.
“This season taught our guys and everyone else not to take this game for granted because you never know when you’ll see your last pitch,” Martinez added.
First year Gregory-Portland head coach Ronnie Jonse had the Wildcats heading in the right direction, getting his team to the championship game of all three of the tournaments they played in this year and winning the Victoria Tourney.
“Extremely disappointed for all our kids. Nothing in life is ever guaranteed. We talked about this many times during our hero, highlight, hardship talks. You never know when something can be taken away from you so don’t ever take anything or anyone for granted,” Jonse said.
Coach Jonse praised his seniors who played their final game as Wildcats: Billy Durrill, Austin Adkins, Trent Svadlenak, Alex Trujillo, Jonathan Linares and Cole Esslinger.
“As a head coach taking over a new program, the group you have to get to buy into your process and they definitely made the transition for me seamless,” Jonse added.
Coach Jason Pfluger, in his second year as Odem Head baseball coach, also feels for his seniors. “I am heartbroken that the 2020 season has unfortunately come to an end. I especially feel for our two seniors, Dylan Andrade and Nathan Rodriguez. They have been great leaders on and off the field. I have no doubt that this team was going to finish with a great season, but I hope the lessons they have learned through baseball will stick with them and keep them strong through the adversities that life will present them,” Pfluger said.