I’ve heard tell there may have been some other stuff going on this week, but lost in all that noise is the fact the 2020-21 girls basketball season has tipped off.
Future IUPUI Jaguar Tyra Ford poured in 38 points Tuesday, but Anderson fell short in the closing seconds by two at Pike, and Mickey Hosier picked up his first win as head coach for Alexandria in convincing fashion at Muncie Burris.
That is exciting stuff, and we hope there is more to come as more area teams begin play this week, and at least one will get its season started a little later this month.
Hope is the appropriate word for this season.
Daleville, Frankton and Shenandoah are hopeful they can repeat last year’s postseason success. All three won sectional championships, with the Raiders advancing to the regional final and the Eagles going on to the Class 2A state championship game.
Anderson would like a shot at a fourth straight Madison County championship.
For the rest, there are equal hopes for success, including a few teams that would like to unseat those previously mentioned champs.
There are players looking for individual milestones. Ford and Shenandoah’s Kathryn Perry are on the brink of becoming their school’s all-time leading scorers, and Alexandria’s Reece VanBlair is fast approaching the 1,000-point accomplishment.
For the fans of all 11 of our teams, there is hope they can watch these teams compete and succeed. The parents of the players, especially the seniors, are hoping they can see their kids strive to be the best they can be.
But, as with everything else in the country, the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic hangs over the season.
Even more obscured here in the last few weeks has been the numerous cancellations and postponements that have occurred even before the season started. Rarely does a day go by I don’t receive an email from an athletic director saying a game has been moved, canceled or is now a varsity-only contest. The aforementioned Shenandoah team has hit pause on the program and will not play its first contest until Nov. 20.
If anyone has kept an eye on the football postseason, numerous teams have been forced to forfeit their sectional games due to COVID-19 cases. And with cases spiking to all-time high numbers locally and across the state, there’s no telling what the future holds for the winter sports season.
I know everyone is tired of hearing about the pandemic, and that includes me. But being tired of it and holding an election will not make it go away. Increased vigilance is the only way to get these skyrocketing numbers under control.
In talking to a few of these girls ahead of the season, they just want a chance to play, to have some kind of season. Nobody knows what the next few months will look like, especially with flu season upon us as well.
Nobody wants these kids to get the opportunity to play this season more than I. There are too many players, teams and storylines I’m looking forward to seeing this winter, and I’m not interested in writing more heartbreak stories of canceled seasons which came with the spring.
The hope is the girls and boys basketball, wrestling and swimming seasons can all be started and completed safely, and I know ADs are working overtime to ensure the safety of the athletes and the fans in attendance.
There is plenty of hope to go around.