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Our opinion: It is an honor to salute our senior athletes

By the time late March rolled around, there was very little doubt that COVID-19 would be having a long term effect, leaving very little untouched.

One of the most visible aspects of this has been the schools and the sudden lurch to distance learning, but for students it’s been more than simply adapting to a new way of learning. It’s been memories and experiences that have been stripped from them and perhaps no student has been affected as much as seniors.

For seniors, this year is the last hurrah. It is the end of a period of time that will carry through the years thanks to the cherished memories gained during this time.

This became apparent to the staff of the Herald when we began assembling our spring JumpStart, our special supplement that highlights the spring sports season to come.

When the schools and sports were postponed and eventually cancelled, the idea of printing this section had to change. To make that change, we chose to focus on the seniors in our area. Our sports editor, Rocky Hulne, sent out questionnaires and then collected them, adding  to stories from the point of view of coaches who rightly lauded the Class of 2020.

But what stood out the most, in a time when it would be understandable if students were down about their situation, was a sense of positivity.

Yes, a great many of them lamented the situation. They wanted to be on the diamonds, they wanted to be on the tracks, they wanted to be on the links, but many left us impressed by the way they accepted their position.

These senior athletes are going through a difficult time and because of COVID-19, society is asking them to grow to adults maybe quicker than we should, but what’s optimistic is that these students are accepting this “new normal” and are moving forward the best they can.

We at the Austin Daily Herald salute our area senior athletes and we hope you enjoy this issue of the spring sports JumpStart as much as we enjoyed putting it together.