Jacob Summerville/The Lion’s Roar
Universities across the nation have had to put a halt to their athletic programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of the sudden cancellation of games, tournaments and seasons, many senior student-athletes did not get the chance to finish out their collegiate athletic careers.
Tanner Wright, a former pitcher for the university’s softball team, was heartbroken upon finding out she would not be able to properly conclude her softball career.
The team’s season was canceled the week after their first conference game.
“Not getting the chance to finish out the season was a heartbreak,” said Wright. “Our team had a really great season ahead of us, and we were on a mission to win the Conference. Not getting that opportunity kind of makes you wonder ‘What if?’ but for the three of us in my senior class, we won’t get the chance again.”
Former guard for the women’s basketball team Charliee Dugas was also disappointed by the alterations.
“Not getting to finish my senior season was definitely a heartbreaking moment for me because we had worked so hard all season to get to the conference tournament,” said Dugas.
Wright and Dugas had difficulty adjusting to the sudden changes in their schedules after the cancellations began.
“After the season was canceled, basically my whole lifestyle changed,” said Wright. “I wasn’t on my normal routine of class, weights, practice, game schedule anymore. I personally have been playing softball since I was three or four, so talk about shock that I would never be competing again.”
Dugas was also saddened by the fact that she would not be able to complete her season.
“My entire life changed because those were my final moments as a collegiate athlete,” said Dugas. “I felt lost because I wasn’t ready for it to be over and because it ended unexpectedly, with no warning. My feelings seemed to be all over the place.”
The athletes’ post-graduation plans were put on hold due to the pandemic. Dugas intended to travel overseas to play basketball, and Wright was set on obtaining her MBA.
“Post-grad plans for me were always to get my master’s, but with everything going on, it ended up being best for my future to move that plan back home to Moss Bluff,” shared Wright. “I will begin attending grad school at McNeese this fall in pursuit of my MBA.”
Despite the inconveniences created by the pandemic, Dugas learned the importance of appreciating things before they are gone.
“This entire situation made me cherish things more because I realized how fast things could be taken away and how quickly your life could change,” said Dugas.
Wright shared Dugas’ sentiments.
“Softball has been ‘my thing’ since I was a little girl, and I dreamed of playing in college for as long as I remember,” explained Wright. “I always put my heart into it, so I can honestly look back and say my only regret was not getting to have the proper goodbye to the sport that gave me so much. I am so thankful though, for all the memories, experiences, and more importantly the people I’ve been blessed to have throughout all the years because of softball.”