Just being able to compete feels like a win in 2020

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There’s something very special about the stretch run of fall high school sports season, especially this year.
The emotion pouring out on area football fields, volleyball courts, softball diamonds, golf and cross country courses is always palpable, especially for those who have some skin in the game. It’s incredibly fun to watch as a source of entertainment, as well for that unified sense of community pride.
There’s little else like it, honestly. Knowing that these final memorable moments will be etched in stone for many players, fans and family members, makes for some high-stakes drama. Win or lose, years from now these kids will look back on their glory days, remembering how things played out in a season that almost wasn’t.
And that’s the thing about 2020 sports. As late as early August, nobody knew for sure IF there would be a fall season, and if there was what it would look like. The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked our world in so many ways, changing the rules of engagement almost by the day. That’s still very much the case at the college level, but for the most part Aurora, Giltner, Hampton and High Plains teams have been able to lace on their shoes and compete.
High school administrators and coaches deserve a huge shout-out for making that happen. It’s hard to imagine how much extra time went into planning for various protocol scenarios, in addition to the routine challenge of prepping for that week’s opponent. In that sense, both schools considered it a W when the opening whistle sounded, regardless of what the scoreboard said at the end of the game. Welcome to 2020!
Now that only a few teams are still in action, the postseason gravy tastes even better. Several teams and individuals have qualified for state competition, with Aurora volleyball punching its ticket Saturday, the day after our football Huskies powered their way into the Class B quarterfinals with a statement win over Scottsbluff. Husky Nation has a fun week ahead.
Though Saturday ended with a loss for the High Plains netters, the Lady Storm made history as the school’s first volleyball team ever to make it to a district final. The look on the girls faces as the last ball fell, as well as the gutty performance against the defending state champion, said it all.
Sports are about so much more than wins and losses, with players and coaches often saying the relationships are what really matter. In 2020, just being able to compete feels like a win.
Kurt Johnson

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  • Kurt Johnson
    Kurt Johnson
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