Athletes adjust to time without sports

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The coronavirus break is a tough time for everyone, especially for local athletes.

For the kids who put in countless time over the winter months – attending workouts, practices, and preparing themselves for game play – that comes to a screeching halt.

“Shutting things down took a toll for the seniors especially,” said Roxboro Community School baseball senior William Leonard, who continues his baseball career at Barton College in 2020. “We worked hard, came back, knew the goal, and tried to get back to the same position.”

2020 is the first opportunity freshman have to showcase their skills at the high school level.

“It’s a little disappointing, honestly, because we just started,” said Person High School freshman Rolando “Junior” Ramirez, who plays on the tennis team. “It’s my first year here. I wanted to play more.”

After initial disappointment, Ramirez realizes the importance of no sports for three weeks.

“Safety is first, honestly,” said Ramirez. “I would rather not just go around, getting sick, and making other people sick. It’s probably for the best.”

Ramirez is hopeful the virus stays far away from Roxboro.

“Honestly, if it doesn’t come close to us, I probably will still go to the Huck (Sansbury) tennis court and still play around,” said Ramirez. “But if it gets close, I’d rather stay safe at home. Maybe play at the school, something like that.”

Ramirez’ teammate, freshman Khalil Muldrow, plans to focus his efforts on academics.

“To be honest, I’m just going to focus on school and getting my education,” said Muldrow. “I don’t plan on going to Huck.”

Like Ramirez, Muldrow is disappointed with his first high school tennis season being cut short.

“It’s an unfortunate event,” said Muldrow. “I’m gaining skill and rapidly picking up experience in tennis. I know for sure that when I come back from the long break, then I’m going to have to practice up again.”

A few members of the RCS softball team plan to meet up over the extended break.

“Me, Maci, and Zoe are planning to get together on our own time,” said junior Ashton Evans. “We’ll work on some hitting and fielding.”

The Lady Bulldogs started to find their footing, rolling to a 3-0 mark in conference play.

“It’s frustrating,” said Evans. “We’re leading in the conference standings, and being pushed back halts our momentum.”

Bulldog baseball’s March 13 game against Falls Lake had a bittersweet tone.

“The Falls Lake game could’ve been my last as a high school athlete,” said Leonard. “All this could go away, however, and we could be right back on the field.”

Members of the RCS baseball team are planning meet-ups as well.

“Varsity and JV are trying to meet up at Optimist Park,” said Leonard. “We want to meet a few days per week, practicing our throwing, hitting, and additional fundamentals.”

Athletes hope to find a happy medium between fitness and rest.

“Relaxing is a key point, but don’t stay lazy all day,” said Leonard. “Don’t be two weeks behind when the ban is over. Come back in two weeks and get back to it.”

Student-athletes from both Person High School and Roxboro Community School will be busy on Tuesday, April 7, the day when – for now – teams can resume play.

Person hosts Halifax County (Va.) for a 6 p.m. match-up, while Bulldog middle school lacrosse travels to Stanford Middle School at 4:45 p.m., middle school baseball hosts Excelsior Classical Academy at 5 p.m. at Optimist Park, middle school softball takes on Excelsior at the same time at Bushy Fork, RCS’ high school golf team travels to Umstead Pines Country Club at 3 p.m. for a match against Voyager, and Bulldog JV baseball hits the road for a 4:30 p.m. contest at Northern Durham.

The RCS middle school girls’ soccer team travels to Voyager the next day for a 4:15 p.m. start time, while Person tennis hosts Eastern Alamance at 4:30 p.m., Rocket baseball faces off with Bartlett-Yancey at 6 p.m., and Person women’s soccer travels to Eastern at 7 p.m.

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