The Lost Season
MARCUS — The spring sports seasons were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving athletes and coaches disappointed for what could have been. For seniors though, it was even worse as it was their last chance to compete in those sports at the high school level, and maybe, for the rest of their lives.
MMCRU had a handful of seniors who were going out for track and field. This included five girls on the roster for Head Coach Lonnie Boekhout’s squad. Julia Bogges was planning to compete for the first time while Faith Olson, Kaitlyn Goth, Haley Schwarz and Nicole Specht were returners for the Royals.
“We were just devastated to lose our track and field season this spring,” Boekhout said. “I was really looking forward to some amazing things that this group was capable of doing, especially the seniors. We held out hope of having some type of season throughout late March and early April, and the girls were doing a fantastic job completing their workouts on their own and preparing for the resumption of the season. These seniors are not only great track and field competitors, but they are also very impressive young women who have successful futures ahead of them. I only hope that track and field played a little part in who they have become.”
Olson was a returning member of the state qualifying 4x800 team a year ago which was set to return all four runners after qualifying with three freshmen last spring. Olson was also hoping to qualify in other events after finishing as runner-up in last year’s district meet in the 400 meter dash where she finished just short of qualifying.
Schwarz was a key returner in sprint relays while Specht and Bogges were hoping to make their own contributions this spring.
The team also was looking forward to seeing Kaitlyn Goth compete after she qualified for state in the 1500 and 3000 meter runs a year ago. She said she was excited for her senior season.
“I was definitely super excited for the season because it was going to be my last and I was super excited for the freshmen that were going to be able to come in and just be able to pass our traditions down to them,” Goth said. “I was also looking forward to running with all my distance girls. We’d always get together before races and that’s one thing I definitely missed this year. Just being able to run at the Blue Oval and all the exciting things that come with track.”
While most of the boys team was young for Head Coach Colin Youde, he said that doesn’t make the loss of the season any easier as his two seniors, Jacob Brimm and Andrew Nicks, didn’t get a chance to compete.
“I am so sad about the cancellation of the end of the school year and track season,” Youde said. “There is nothing quite like watching kids compete on the track. Here at MMCRU, we were going to have some great things happen this year. First of all, the boys were fielding the largest track team in my coaching career. We also had a lot of talent. Thankfully most of my team is very young. But we were looking forward to sending out our seniors on a high note. Those two work hard and were good examples to the young guys. Lastly, we will miss the competition and giving it our all for personal and team improvement.”
MMCRU also had some senior golfers who were unable to hit the links this spring. Those included Taylor Schlenger, who was a second team all-conference honoree last year, along with Rian Vasher and Shana Ames for the girls team.
“This whole situation has been very difficulty for everyone, but especially for our seniors,” Head Coach Kendra Knapp said. “They have had a part of their lives taken from them that they will never be able to get back and we owe it to them to celebrate them as much as we can.”
The only senior for the boys golf team was Ethan Riedemann.
“Ethan was set to have a good year being an all-conference pick last season,” Head Coach Mark Schuttler said.
Riedemann was a second team all-conference honoree and the sectional runner-up last spring.
While Goth said she and other athletes missed out on being able to compete, the biggest loss was in connecting with others.
“All the fun times we have with our teammates, our practices because that’s just when we have the most fun,” Goth said. “That’s just a whole new way to make friends, so we just missed out on all the great memories.”
The word or phrase listed is how their coach described them:
Faith Olson - Fearless
Kaitlyn Goth - Persistent
Haley Schwarz - Stubborn (in a good way)
Nicole Specht - Smooth
Julia Bogges - First timer
Taylor Schlenger - Leader
Rian Vasher - Hardworking
Shana Ames - Newbie
Jacob Brimm - Determined
Andrew Nicks - Optimistic
Ethan Riedemann - Dedicated