News file photo In this file photo, Centerburg senior runner Aeryn Walters (62) takes off at the start of the Division III regional cross country championship on Oct. 26, 2019, at Pickerington North High School.

News file photo/Mount Vernon News

In this file photo, Centerburg senior runner Aeryn Walters (62) takes off at the start of the Division III regional cross country championship on Oct. 26, 2019, at Pickerington North High School. Request this photo

 

CENTERBURG — With the possibility of no spring season and the end of their careers as high school athletes a couple of Centerburg athletes shared their thoughts on being stuck on the sidelines because of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

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The Ohio High School Athletic Association has a press conference scheduled for noon today to provide an update of the status of the winter sports tournaments and spring seasons.

Softball player Aubrey Clippinger has seen the Trojans go from two wins her freshman season to eight wins to a 13-12 mark last season.

She was hoping to help Centerburg take the next step.

“It’s obviously really disappointing considering it’s my senior year,” she said. “You wait for the day where you get to hear your name called on Senior Night. It’s also disappointing that everybody has to go through this.”

Clippinger has perspective on her priorities, though.

“I love the game very much,” she said. “I also love the people in my life. So, if it takes having my softball season canceled to keep everybody healthy, then I’m willing to sacrifice that.”

Runner Aeryn Walters shared Clippinger’s feeling of disappointment.

“I’m disappointed about it,” Walters said. “Yeah, track’s hard and I complain about it all the time. But I love it and I’m sad I didn’t get to end it the way that I want to.”

Walters is coming off an appearance at the state track and field meet as a junior. She competed with Abigail Dickhof, Elise Tucker and Avery Tucker in the 4×800-meter relay and finished 15th out 18 teams.

Walters was hoping to go back to state in an individual race.

“I was hoping to go back again in the 4-by-8 and hopefully qualify individually as well,” she said. “My sophomore year, I qualified for regionals individually and I wanted to possibly make state (this spring). So, I had big plans. Of course, I was excited to run with my teammates again.”

Walters finished 52nd out of 180 runners and helped the Trojans end up in sixth-place out of 20 teams at the state cross country meet last fall. She plans to continue her running career at the next level.

“It hasn’t really affected anything (in recruiting),” she said. “They obviously know that colleges are doing what they can, too.”

She plans to run at either Walsh University or Waynesburg University.

Clippinger has no aspirations of continuing her athletic career at the next level. She plans to attend Bowling Green State University and major in early childhood education.

“I want to focus more on my education,” she said. “In order to be a college athlete – you give up a lot of your time. I would love to play to play one last time, but I’m willing to let the sport go.”

The spring season was scheduled to begin March 28 for both softball and track and field.

 

Michael Rich: 740-397-5333 or mrich@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mrichnotwealthy