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The Lost Season

Watson 1

by Von Watson

Who else thinks we should hit the restart button on 2020? What a crazy year this has been so far. The tragic helicopter accident involving NBA legend Kobe Bryant, a worldwide pandemic showing up, all sports being cancelled and so much more. For the first time in my life the world has come to a complete standstill. This year truly does feel like a script to a movie is being played out in real life. Now I could talk all day on the impact COVID-19 has impacted the world, but I am here to talk specifically about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected me.

My name is Von Watson. I am a native of Potts Camp, Mississippi, a red-shirt senior outfielder at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee and this is my coronavirus story.

My college career has been full of ups and downs on and off the field. Looking back it seems there is very little that I have not experienced. From losing family members, to having friends pass away all too soon. From playing regularly, to barely playing at all. Throw in unexpected injuries, self-doubt and the list goes on. You name it and I have probably experienced it in some way the past five years. At times it seems like there has been more downs than ups!

Coming out of high school I was fortunate to win numerous accolades awards, was drafted in the 29th round by the Phillies after my senior season and was recruited by several D-1 programs. Coming into college I thought that as long as I worked hard on and off the field, stayed out of trouble, and was respectful, everything would be great. But God filled my college experience full of adversity and I am thankful for it. When it comes to adversity, we all have two choices: believe you can get through it because the grass is greener on the other side or play victim and give up. Although there were times I wanted to give up, God, my will, and family would not let me. That is why I am still standing firm today, still working to turn my dreams into a reality.

Fast forward to this spring, my senior year. It was a season that was highly anticipated and was full of optimism for me and my Bison teammates until the unexpected pandemic shutdown the world. It has affected everyone in different ways, but for me I now find myself sitting here less than three months later penning a story I wish I wasn’t writing on the lost season.

“Wow! Five years later and here we are at the end of this college baseball journey, we have a great group of hard-working dedicated guys, tremendous coaches, and just a fantastic overall family atmosphere. This is going to be the best year yet, we are going to bring home a College World Series trophy, and I am going to get drafted and keep pursuing my big league dreams.”

These were my thoughts going into this 2020 season. We started the season 6-0, the best start in school history. Ten games later we are 11-5, after facing quality arms and solid competition every weekend. To be honest, we felt like our record could have been even better because we felt like we threw a couple of those games away. Then it happened.

On Wednesday, March 11th we got a big mid-week win against Tennessee Tech where all five seniors hit a homerun. After the game as we boarded the bus and started checking our phones, we all started feeling a little uneasy when we saw the news that so many professional and collegiate teams were postponing their upcoming games. Even then, the potential reality still had not set in yet. Before practice on Thursday as we were reviewing game notes and the scouting report for the upcoming weekend series, one our coaches came out to tell Coach Forehand that the season was going to be cancelled. Straight silence fell over the room. Ten minutes later our Athletic Director Philip Hutcheson came to confirm the news. I just walked away and my mind started racing. “How could this happen. I have been through so much and things were turning around. We worked so hard to get to this point.” I knew I was not the only athlete in the country experiencing those sentiments.

Most seniors do not have some picture-perfect ending to their college story. There is usually a lot of adversity, pain, tears, and struggles on and off the field throughout one’s journey from freshman to senior. That was definitely the case with our senior class which is what made it so special. To be honest, after the initial shock, I was not as emotional as I thought I would be after finding out the news. The reason for this is simply faith. I knew God was working.

It was exciting when the NCAA came out and officially ruled that everyone would get their year of eligibility back, but also left a lot of confusion. For redshirt freshman it just made things that much more difficult with more guys coming in, plus the upperclassman above them coming back. For seniors this meant they can come back for a fifth year. For fifth year seniors like myself, this meant, “Should I come back to school and play again for a sixth year? Should I start that job I got? Should I transfer? Should I start pursuing other things?”

So many possibilities and tough decisions to consider. Whatever decision one makes, you want to make it with conviction and no regrets. On top of that now everyone has to go home, classes are online, and you do not get to see your friends and teammates anymore. Now while school being online may seem like a breeze, a lack of motivation sets in, it is harder to learn, and there is no real graduation in sight. With that being said, there were benefits to all of this. One was being able to go on vacation, seeing family or friends you rarely get to see and being able to start a new routine. For me it was a little different. It took me awhile to go home because I knew when I did the season being over would really set in and I knew things would be drastically different in the coming months.

To wrap things up, I just want to say never take a day for granted because it can all change in an instant. When trials, tribulations and confusion sets in, that is when leaning on God and those who truly care about you are needed the most.  No one expected any of this to happen. As far as being a senior goes, we work our butts off for 4-5 years to lead our teams to something special and end our careers on a high note. Even though this pandemic ending our season was not what any of us expected, I still believe there is a reason for this. During these times you can either grow, become better, and learn or you can sit back, relax, and coast until everything blows over. Have faith in times of uncertainty. Have faith in times of sureness. Have faith during the good times.  Have faith during the bad times. Always have faith.

“Be Patient. Sometimes you have to go through the worst to get to the best.”



FEATURED IMAGE

All images provided by Von Watson.


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One Comment on “The Lost Season

Seunti Watson
May 30, 2020 at 9:50 am

Outstanding VV. I’M SO BLESSED BY YOU BROTHER.

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