No region champions were won. No state champions were crowned. And no bragging rights from intense rivalry match ups will be thrown in the faces of foes.
The 2020 spring sports season has been anything but normal with coronavirus-prompted cancellations — actually, it was nearly non-existent.
Minus the first few games and meets for each team, senior spring sports athletes didn’t get much of a final season, something many have characterized as heartbreaking after exerting so much effort in their time at Hart County High School.
Still, coaches are planning and implementing a variety of ways to recognize their senior athletes.
Head tennis coach Kevin Harris said he will be recognizing his seniors with a plaque and the usual senior day awards when he gets the all-clear to do so.
“As far as our seniors, my heart goes out to them for not being able to play their senior season. When I got the word from our (athletic director), it was like I got punched in the gut real hard,” Harris said. “I immediately thought about our seniors and the rest of the team. The work put in to prepare for the season was going to be unrewarded. We got in a few matches, but less than half of our regular season schedule.”
The girls’ tennis team graduates just one senior, Lauren Lee, who played for three years at some doubles and a little at No. 3 singles. Harris said she improved a lot in her time on the team.
The boys’ tennis team will graduate two seniors, Tyler Rucker and Zach Foley. Rucker played all four years and worked hard to get to the No. 1 doubles spot where he competed his junior and senior years, Harris said.
Foley was in the tennis program from sixth grade until 12th grade. He played No. 1 singles until his senior year due to a shoulder injury and continued to battle for the Dogs from the No. 1 doubles spot with Rucker.
Both Bulldog soccer teams are recognizing their players by giving them a plaque and a gift bag, while also celebrating the athletes on the team’s booster-club Facebook page.
Senior Abi Guadarrama was an anchor on defense, head coach Kevin Hays said, and a very hard worker.
Elizabeth Drake, who was a captain on the team, always put her everything into her game, even when she had nothing left to give, Hays said.
Emilee Williams, also a captain, was a true leader, Hays said. He said it was fun to watch her lead the team in assists with her throw-ins from the other side of the field.
Hanna Crump only played soccer for two years, but she showed Hays she was there to play and she left it all on the field, he said.
Kate Hobson was a captain and Hays said she was both a talented athlete and musician. He said he enjoyed seeing her grow over the last three years of soccer.
Kendra Argo pushes herself, Hays said. She lifts up her teammates and encourages them to work harder, he said.
Kionna Torres impressed Hays with her speed when he first saw her chase down a ball on defense. He said few athletes are quicker on the pitch. Hays said he is excited to see her serve in the U.S. Army.
Morgan Terrell is graduating and Hays said it has been a joy watching her grow as a soccer player.
Paige Bryan was a captain and is a “pacey young lady who shows her speed and ability to be in the right place at the right time on the pitch,” Hays said.
Skylar Chastain showed growth and hard work from day one, Hays said. She earned a starting spot her first year because of her willingness to push and beat anyone she came up against, he said.
Tiannah Douangboupha worked hard on her craft, Hays said. She developed a beautiful shot in her two years of playing for Hart, Hays said.
Hays wished all of his players the best as they graduate.
On the boys’ team, four-year player Gevin Boleman is graduating. Head coach Ben Hudson said Boleman is a nonstop engine on the field. His willingness to sacrifice for the team was unmatched, Hudson said.
Max Alfano, who was a varsity captain and four-year member, was an anchor on the defense, Hudson said. Alfano leaves behind large shoes to fill on and off the field, he said.
Victor Munoz, a four-year player, was often challenged by opponents, by teammates, and by Hudson, he said. Hudson said he always stood up to meet it, and oftentimes exceeded it.
John Gordy was also a four-year player and an incredibly well-rounded student-athlete, future political leader, good teammate and a spiritual leader of the team, Hudson said.
Lincoln Zemaitis, a varsity captain, was a four-year player who is an incredibly experienced and hard working player, Hudson said. This season he showed his true leadership potential and teaching ability for the younger players, Hudson said.
Keyon Flowers, another four-year player, has been a workhorse and “un-subbable” player the last two seasons, Hudson said. He was dependable and always competitive, he said.
Griffin Phillips was a first-year player who approached every practice and game with exuberance and enthusiasm, Hudson said, while keeping a positive attitude on and off the field.
Trent Todd was a varsity captain and four-year player who is the epitome of a blue-collar workhorse, Hudson said. He showed up, got the job done and had fun.
Emmanuel Morales was a two-year player and was always willing to do what was asked, Hudson said.
Luke Martinez, a two-year member, has a fun-loving sense of humor and always has something positive to say, Hudson said. He said he appreciated Martinez’s dedication to work hard.
The girls’ golf team is graduating one senior, four-year letterman and four-year starter Hailey Moss. She started in two state tournaments and was a scorer on the 2019 girls’ state tournament team that finished fourth in the state. She was elected captain of the 2020 girls’ golf team.
“Hailey was a vital member of our golf team. She is a solid hard working young lady that was always a positive, consistent, coachable and a leader that the others look up to. She has a bright future ahead of her,” head girls’ golf coach Wende Peloquin, said.
The Hart County boys’ golf team only competed in two regular season matches this year due to weather postponements and eventually the pandemic.
Zach Smith is the lone senior on the team and has competed for three years.
First-year head coach Roger Gentry said he didn’t work with him long, but he knows he’s a good kid.
“They were a good group,” Gentry said about this year’s team. “...They’re still playing. They go out there and play about everyday.”
The Track Dogs were on pace to mark some big finishes at the region and state meets, led by an athletic group of seniors. The team had already taken a first-place finish at the Eagle Invitational in early March before the season abruptly halted.
Samuel Garringer headed up the distance running and was a team member for three years. He earned eighth place in the 3,200-meter run at the state meet his junior year.
Kaimon Rucker anchored the throwing events and came up with a big second-place finish in shot put at the state meet last year. He competed all four years with the track team.
Will Hardmon competed in the throwing events for four years and most recently walked away from the Big Mouth Signs/Shuma Sports Archer Invitational with an 11th place finish in discus.
L.J. Rucker was a team member for two years.
Jabriel Martin competed on the team for one year and most recently finished in seventh-place in the long-jump event at the Eagle Invitational this season.
Seth Seymour also competed on the team for one year and most recently finished in ninth place in the 1,600-meter run at the Eagle Invitational.
“This has been an amazing group of seniors. They were always ready to step up and be leaders for the team. Each one of these seniors had a passion for track and field and they gave their all at practice,” head coach Floyd Ramsey said.
The Bulldogs’ baseball team was on track to have a top-notch season after being ranked No. 1 in the state for a period of time and claiming an 8-4 (2-2) record before the season was cut short.
Two seniors led the team, Luke Lee and Chase Dalton. Head coach Josh Osborne said he remembers both players coming through the youth camp and growing up in the community.
Luke Lee manned homeplate at the catcher position from the time he was a freshman.
“The stability we had behind the plate and as a leader, you cannot replace,” Osborne said. “In my opinion, he’s one of the best catchers we’ve ever had.”
Chase Dalton is a clutch hitter and came away with some big-time hits for the Bulldogs throughout his career.
“Whenever it was what I call prime time and the game needed to be won, there’d be no other person I’d want up to the plate other than Chase,” Osborne said.
Slow Pitch Softball
Seniors on the slow-pitch softball team are Macy Harris, Chalanda Cade and Sydney Ertzberger.
“Although I only had one year to get to know these girls, they have truly been a blessing to our coaching staff and team,” head coach Katie Jo Gentry said. “They embraced a new version of softball (to them) and learned how they could each play better for their team. In a world where so many athletes can become obsessed with personal performance, these girls are true team players and they will be greatly missed.”