Country Closes Down, Local Sports Suffer


Matthew Hadzic

The Oakdale Boys Track Team celebrating victories

Jonah Childress

All public schools are ordered to stay closed due to the Coronavirus until April 24th, when the situation will be reevaluated. This has huge implications for spring sports at Oakdale, since there is a good chance they will not be occurring this year.


Among the transition to online school and new mandates nationwide restricting public mobility, athletes at Oakdale are also worried about spring sports being cancelled. School sports are an excellent way to meet new people and improve yourself personally, and just like everything else at this time, that privilege is being withheld.


One team specifically, the Oakdale Boys Track and Field team, has a lot to lose when it comes to missed opportunities. The team had aspirations to win another state championship, to complement their other four in the last three years. If they won the state championship in the spring, they would have also earned the triple crown of high school running: a Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor Track state title in the same year.


Not many schools are able to accomplish these things, going into the season, the boys were confident. Unfortunately, only two weeks into the season, they were notified school related activities, including track, would be halted for the next two weeks.


When Senior Matt Moran was asked when he felt that things would be dramatically different this season, he replied: “Definitely when Hogan cancelled school for 2 weeks. I was happy we had no school, but reality set in, that practice and meets will be cancelled, along with a virus spreading throughout the world.”


This is not a good situation for anyone. No one wants to be stuck at home quarantined, and the economy has taken a turn for the worse. As far as spring sports in high schools, it is just one of many things being seemingly taken away from students this year. Graduation is also another topic under review. Most people agree that seniors have the most to lose, since they will not be coming back to Oakdale next year.


Kyle Lund, a Senior and star of the team, elaborates on the matter: “It’s weird because before all this I was still looking forward to another season as a high schooler, but now it’s as if I’m looking back on being a high school athlete.”


Some of the boys on the team were also hoping to go to postseason meets, such as New Balance Nationals Outdoor in June and meets in the DMV region like the Meet of Champions and the Meet of the Elite. They were also registered to go to New Balance Nationals Indoor in New York, but just two days before the event, it was cancelled due to COVID-19.


“I was looking forward to states of course, and running at the Brooks PR Invitational,” replied Lund when he was asked what meets he was excited for.


When asked what he will miss the most, Moran contemplated “I don’t think I can really rank what I will mostly miss, but I definitely will miss bus rides, practices, meets, seeing my best buds, and especially our coaches.”