DANVILLE — The COVID-19 pandemic has athletes around the state and the country in a wait-and-see period. When will they be allowed to return to school? Will they be allowed to return to school? Will they get to play their chosen sport? Wait and see.

For Danville seniors Aubrey Dawson and Zane Risser, the last question is of particular importance.

“It’s unfortunate,” Risser said. “But if people are losing their loved ones, then I’m not gonna be real stuck-up about it. It’s high school baseball at the end of the day. I was real upset — especially not knowing if we’d have a season — but, I know that God has a plan for everything. We’ll see what happens, but I have faith.”

Risser, Dawson and the rest of the Danville students are getting accustomed to distance learning. School has been closed since Mar. 16 and students are doing their work from home.

“I’ve never experienced something like this before,” Risser said. “It’s kind of like being home-schooled. It’s weird and it’s a lot to take in with only a few months left in my high school career. There’s a lot of uncertainty and it brings a lot of anxiety.”

Dawson was looking forward to her final season on the softball team, which went 18-8 last season and made it all the way to a Division IV regional final before falling to Peebles.

“It’s definitely jerked a couple of tears,” she said. “I think if I could give words of encouragement — I would say never take anything for granted. It’s really brought out many memories from last year.”

Coronavirus has taken away normalcy. Danville should be playing scrimmages to gear up for a March 28 opening day.

“It’s definitely something that I don’t think any of us expected,” Dawson said. “But it’s something that we could all use as a life lesson.”

Risser, a senior on the baseball team, was hoping to help his team improve from a 2-18 mark last season.

“We have a real heavy freshman class this year,” he said. “I think they’re going to contribute big time. So, I think we have a shot of making a far run if we all stuck together and worked as a team.”

Neither plans to pursue athletics at the next level.

Dawson plans to continue at the Central Ohio Technical College in its stenography program — something she’s been working on as a student while at Danville.

“I may never step back out on a field,” she said. “I have been through college classes since my sophomore year in high school and I probably have half of the program requirements already done.”

Risser plans on attending Mount Vernon Nazarene, majoring in pastoral ministry with a minor in youth ministry.


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