An Unprecedented Year

One+of+the+two+fifth+year+seniors+on+this+year%27s+team%2C+Zach+Swindell%2C+takes+a+swing+during+the+2020+season.+Swindell+looks+to+bring+leadership%2C+high+character+and+quality+at+bats+in+2021.%0A%0APhoto+Courtesy+of+Zach+Swindell

One of the two fifth year seniors on this year’s team, Zach Swindell, takes a swing during the 2020 season. Swindell looks to bring leadership, high character and quality at bats in 2021. Photo Courtesy of Zach Swindell

Davis Barlow, Contributing Writer

It has been over one year to the day, March 10, 2020, since the sports world watched the shutdown begin. It started when the Ivy League canceled its conference basketball tournaments early on in the day and by the time the sun set on March 12, the NCAA had canceled March Madness completely. In an unprecedented 48-hour span, the entire sports world had come to a grinding halt and would not resume for the season.

 

What many believed would only be a temporary stoppage in the season turned into a global pandemic that parts of the world have still not recovered from. The overall effects of the pandemic will long be felt after a return to normalcy. For example, the sporting industry will be recovering from the revenue loss for years to come. On a personal level, many athletes lost years they will never get back. 

 

In the case of Piedmont College, despite it being Spring Break, there were still some teams on campus.

 

“We were on campus preparing to go to North Carolina to start conference play,” stated Tanner Kate Sauls. Sauls, now a senior, plays second base for the Piedmont College Softball team. “Our coaches took us into the glass room and told us to pack up everything and head home. I was heartbroken and in complete shock that an entire season could be canceled just like that.” 

The devastation was felt across the board for many Piedmont College spring sport student-athletes. Many of the seniors at the time did not return this year to use their extra year granted by the NCAA for many reasons. 

 

“We were headed to a team meal before getting on the bus to head to LaGrange for a conference series when we were told,” said then junior outfielder Zach Norman. Now a senior, Norman is playing his final year of collegiate baseball with the Lions. “It hurts knowing that most of last year’s seniors played their last game without knowing.” 

 

Thus far in the 2021 season, both Piedmont baseball and Piedmont softball have not had any major issues with their seasons. Piedmont baseball is scheduled to play at home on Friday, March 19, with the first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. Piedmont softball is due to play at home Saturday, March 20 and the first pitch will happen at 3 p.m. All dates and contests are subject to change. Please refer to piedmontlions.com for all schedule changes.