AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - NCAA’s decision to cancel all spring sports due to the coronavirus came as a shock to many.
It was a normal day of practice for the Georgia Southwestern State softball team. Prepping for their first conference game against Georgia College the next day.
“We were excited. We were having a really good day at practice. We were on a 10-game win streak, you know, it was just going in the right direction,” said Head Coach Nicole Levering.
But everything changed when Levering informed the team the NCAA canceled all spring sports due to coronavirus.
“It was honestly an extremely emotional message. Immediately I was thinking about my seniors and how this was going to affect them and all the hard work they’ve put in. Once I got emotional, you know all the girls got emotional,” said Levering.
At the time, the Canes were off to an incredible start. 17 and 5 overall, undefeated at home and on the road.
And what could have been, will now always be just that.
"Just kind of you know, yanked the carpet right from under you was very upsetting,” said Levering.
Maybe a silver lining in all of this.
The NCAA is allowing senior spring athletes another year of eligibility.
Levering said her five seniors are seriously considering this option.
"It’s exciting because I really like all of my seniors. And they’re all really good people. And on top of being good athletes, they’ve been game changes for us,” said Levering.
Levering said through this emotional roller coaster, she hopes it teaches people to not take things for granted.
"This sport has given us so much. It’s taught us so much about life. And I hope the girls in some weird way, including myself, are learning some type of lesson from this to never take it for granted,” said Levering.
With students now taking classes online, Levering says she's unsure when she'll see her players again.
But, she hopes she'll be able to get this team together one last time.
"I had planned to have them all comeback and have one last team meal together and just be together one last time,” said Levering.
Levering said she hasn’t heard from the NCAA on how available scholarships will impact returning seniors.
For now, she’s focused on her current players and making sure they’re focused on school.