Please don’t take away my senior season


Photo courtesy Adrian Holguin

Coppell senior Sidekick staff writer Sydney Rowe sprints down the runway on March 2, 2019 in the CHS Field House. Rowe reflects on her last high school pole vaulting season and how the coronavirus is affecting high school and collegiate sports.

Sydney Rowe, Staff Writer/Photographer

I have always been an extremely competitive person. 

Sports have always been an extremely prominent part of my life.

Some of my fondest memories include when I was 5 years old, bouncing around trying to score on a soccer field, all the way to now, pole vaulting in places all across Texas and Arkansas. There is something about willing myself to do my best physically that I love more than anything else.

Athletes in spring sports, such as track and field, baseball, and softball, across the nation have undoubtedly lost a large chunk of their competitions due to COVID-19. While both the school year and these sports’ seasons are not surely canceled yet, there is a possibility kids will not be returning to school-related activities in the 2019-20 school year.

As a senior athlete, I have already lost prom and there are talks of a virtual graduation, but thinking of losing the final season of the sport I absolutely adore hits me and many other athletes the hardest.

“It hurts a lot,” Coppell senior track athlete Madison Martin said. “Thinking about how I might not get to end my last season the right way, with my coaches and teammates.”

Many of us have dedicated years and years and endless hours into our respective sports. Sports have been a part of my life since I can remember.

My days as an athlete start at age 5, on the soccer field. The Pink Princesses, although it came with an embarrassingly pink uniform that was way too large for me and pig-tails accented with bright sparkly bows, taught me what it meant to be competitive and to work hard with a team.

After playing soccer for nine years, I transitioned from distance running to pole vaulting. I have created what I’m sure are lifelong friendships, and I have learned the true value of hard work.

I wrote my most important college essay, that I submitted to every school I applied to, on pole vaulting and just how impactful the sport has been on my life. I could ramble on for days about how much spending endless hours running down a runway with a 12-foot pole in my hands, has instilled so much self-confidence within myself.

I cannot imagine life without being in a sport; it has been much of what I have known and worked for in the past 13 of my 18 years of life. For many, sports have been there since the very beginning.

“I’ve been playing baseball since I could,” Coppell senior baseball/football player Jackson Matthews said. “I started playing when I was 5 or 6. I haven’t lived life without playing baseball yet.”

According to, only a little over 7% of high school varsity athletes go on to play at the collegiate level. This means the end of the road of organized competitive sports for many kids after they graduate high school.

Even for those pursuing play at the next level, the virus also raises concerns for recruiting. Abilene Christian softball coach Abigail Farler is relying solely on technology to try to continue the recruiting process in the most efficient way.

“Since high school is not playing, there’s really no games we can go watch,” Farler said. “There’s just a lot of questions about when everything will open back up. At this point, our recruiting is just emails and being able to watch videos.”

The recruitment issue hits very close to home for me as well. I have already gotten into my dream school, the University of Texas at Austin, but this season I was working towards reaching a mark in the pole vault that would allow me to walk on to its team. Now, I have no competitions to go after these marks and my hope for continuing something I really love to do is dwindling.

I realize there are bigger issues in the world right now than losing a couple meets or games. I am often reminded there are people dying, and to be thankful for my good health, and without a doubt those are much more pressing topics. 

However, losing silly laughs with my teammates, opportunities to see how my hard work has paid off and seeing my friends accomplish goals they have put their blood, sweat and tears into obtaining really strikes a nerve. I have worked harder than ever before, strengthened myself mentally and physically and put years worth of effort into my sport. 

Out of everything else that has already been swiped away, please don’t take away my senior season.


Follow Sydney (@syd218) and @SidekickSports on Twitter.