The Virginia High School League state track meets were scheduled for Friday and Saturday of this weekend, but were cancelled weeks ago by the coronavirus pandemic. With the cancellation nine Lord Botetourt seniors and six James River seniors saw their high school careers come to an end before the season even began.
“With our Indoor State Track Meet a little later than normal, on March 2nd & 3rd, we had a little different start than we normally do,” said LB coach Chris Caldwell. “You could say we had a soft start to the season the last week of February. We were both starting some light conditioning for those coming out for Outdoor Track and preparing our Indoor Track Athletes for the State Meet.”
LB seniors included, for the boys, sprint captain Ethan Webster, throwing captain Bradlee Henson, Dalton Breese and Alex Hawkins. Senior girls included Kaile Judge, Haley Saunders, Kaitlynn Tucker, Carly Webster and Hannah Williams.
“The team was showing a lot of early potential and we were just starting to get to know the team and starting to see some great abilities from the athletes,” said Caldwell. “Our practices the week after the shutdown were to include a time to pass out uniforms and talk expectations at our first meet. Our first meet would have been the last Saturday of March.
“The coaching staff and I hated it for everyone but especially the seniors. So many were looking forward to having stellar seasons and had set goals for PR’s that would take them well into the post-season. Some had stepped up and were already showing great leadership skills at the start of the season. We were really looking forward to where the team was headed.”
James River seniors are Chase Perkey, Camden Powell, Adaline Bisese, Nicole Kirk and Abbagail Link. Cole Miller was a junior who is graduating early, so he also missed his final season at River.
“We were very young,” said River coach Greg Dyer. “We have a bunch of young ones that possibly could have done well, but it’s hard to forecast that. I feel bad for the seniors, even those on other teams.”
“This has been an odd spring to say the least,” said Caldwell, who is also the band director at Lord Botetourt High School.
“As far as band goes, right now it is like trying to read a crystal ball,” he said. “Normally by now we have had drumline auditions, color guard auditions, and have had our first kick-off practice to go over our calendar, music, and expectations. Both our color guard and drumline would be having practices and things would be well on the way. Obviously, none of that is happening but that is state wide. I participate in several online band director forums with directors from around the Commonwealth. We are all sharing ideas and talking ‘what if’ scenarios.”