DAWSON, Ga. (WALB) - This week a year ago high school spring sports suddenly shut down as the coronavirus pandemic presented immediate threats to health and safety.
Terrell Academy baseball watched their season come to a halt mid-game against Westwood.
The Eagles and Westwood Wildcats played just three full innings before they received word that the season was paused due to COVID-19 concerns.
For Terrell, this was just their fourth game of the 2020 season.
Head coach Ashley Walker said, “It’s like taking a year off from baseball.”
Junior shortstop, Jay Murdock added, “I’m so glad to be out here, it’s just awesome.”
Friday, the Eagles and Wildcats meet again a year later.
“We’ll have that memory of where it ended a year before. You know so, that’ll be in the back of our minds but we’re just taking it, again I know this is cliché, but we’re taking it one game at a time,” said Walker.
Murdock continued, “I thought that last year, we only played four games, I swear it took like three months. And I mean it’s only been two weeks and we already played five games. So, it’s been crazy how fast it’s gone by.”
This spring, there’s a newfound appreciation for the game and even the grunt work at practice. The Eagles are sporting a young team in 2021 losing eight starters after last season.
Walker told me they’re still trying to make up for lost time.
“A lot of these guys are behind, I’m behind, the coaches are behind. We’ve been out for a while now and it’s hard to get back into the swing of things, but right now we’re just doing our best to get back into the rhythm and get the culture back instilled, and pick up where we left off,” said Walker.
Walker continued, “The best thing is us being able to be back on the field. These kids deserve this and we feel for the seniors who didn’t get to finish out their senior year. But we’re really glad for me to get my guys back out here and for me to be back out here.”
For the Eagles, the schedule is already heating up. Their next five games are against region opponents. Murdock is locked in on the postseason.
“State championship. That’s the only thing that’s on my mind. That’s the only thing I’m going to strive for until I get to college, is a state championship,” said Murdock.
The Eagles also have a lot to overcome with the inexperience the pandemic created on this team.
But they’re hopeful for a full season this time.