Lady Cavaliers hope to play again
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Like every other high-school sports team in the state, it’s a waiting game for the Callaway Lady Cavaliers.
Callaway’s girls’ soccer team beat Spencer 4-1 on March 11 for its third straight win to even its region record at 2-2.
It looked like everything was falling into place for the Lady Cavaliers, but later that week they found out that the springs sports seasons were suspended because of the threat of the coronavirus.
Callaway hasn’t played a game since beating Spencer, and it hasn’t held a practice in more than two weeks.
Schools in Troup County won’t reopen until April 27 at the earliest, and that means the Lady Cavaliers can’t practice or play a game until then.
“I understand the situation, and I would definitely rather keep everybody safe rather than put us in harm’s way, but it’s so unfortunate,” said Callaway head coach Shonna Yawn. “You get teams, and players, who are wanting to be on the field, and there’s nothing we can do but sit and wait for the unknown.”
Yawn’s objective is to make sure the players are ready to go if and when the season resumes.
“I’m hoping we get back on the field in May. All of us coaches are emailing each other if that possibility is there,” Yawn said. “I keep in touch with the girls, and we were just messaging a few minutes ago, and I told them to send me pictures of what you’re doing. They send me videos of silly stuff they’re doing, but I stress to them that if this happens and we get back on the field, realize that this is going to be quick. While you’re at home, remember to keep your foot on the ball, focus on conditioning.”
While the players aren’t able to get together, Yawn’s message is “do what you can as an individual. They send me messages back that they’re missing being on the field, but I let them know I’m still here as their coach. We all miss the sport. In this time of the unknown, you still have to continue your academics, you have to continue working on your own. If and when this happens, be prepared that you’re going to go in quick.”
Yawn is hoping the season continues in part because it’s the final opportunity for the seniors to play soccer in high school.
Among that group of seniors are two players, Ashley Bowden and Alyssa Niner, who have been a key part of the varsity program since they were freshmen, and Yawn has known them longer than that.
“I have two (Bowden and Niner) this year that have been with me since they were 12 or 13,” Yawn said. “It’s heart-breaking to see that those two this is their last year, and this is all I’m able to give them.
“I have literally carried those girls from travel ball, to rec ball, and all four years of high school. So this is not how I wanted their senior year to be.”