The strangest, most memorable and dare I say infamous high school sports season recently drew to a close when Loganville was swept in the best-of-three series Class AAAAA baseball tournament.
It certainly wasn’t the way we hoped things would end. But suffice it to say, very little went the way we hoped over the past 10 months. Members of the Class of ’21 will have some interesting tales to tell their grandkids.
It all began, which might have been the biggest story of the year. For a long time, it appeared football season might actually be canceled.
But with a laundry list of do’s and don’ts and various precautions to protect both teams and their fans from contracting COVID-19, the season kicked off, albeit two weeks later than expected.
Many games, both locally and around the state, were canceled. Some teams gave up midyear. Fortunately, our local six managed to complete their seasons.
George Walton had the most topsy-turvy campaign. The Bulldogs won their first two games before the virus struck, forcing them to miss a full month of practices and games.
When GWA emerged from isolation, it won four of its final six to earn a spot in the playoffs, where the Bulldogs won two straight to advance to the quarterfinals before losing to Calvary Day of Savannah.
Given the youth of their roster, the future looked brighter than ever for the local private schools. But just days after the season ended, head coach Shane Davis was suspended with no explanation.
Rumors swirled before the bomb dropped. GWA publicly admitted it was under investigation by the GHSA for improper payments to a student athlete. A day later, Davis resigned.
Word on the street is that the coach had nothing to do with the rule breaking, but the damage was done nonetheless.
By the time the basketball season tipped off, the virus was still raging. Game scenes were bizarre, with players spaced out, a limited number of fans in the stands, and games being canceled left and right.
The Monroe girls took the biggest hit. A COVID-19 outbreak on the team at first forced the cancelltion of a few games. But when parents were reluctant to allow their girls to resume, leaving the Lady ’Canes without enough players to field a team, the season was prematurely ended.
However, the historic, record-setting run of the Loganville girls did provide a bright spot to an otherwise dreary winter.
When spring sports began, the state had begun to loosen its COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, athletes were able to compete more freely. Loganville’s boys soccer team had a great run and track and field athletes had a solid showing at state.
And, as usual, Loganville made its annual run at a state title. For the first time in three years, they failed to bring home a first-place trophy.
But unlike last spring, when they didn’t even have a chance at defending their state title because COVID-19 forced the cancellation of everything, it was nice to see bats swinging and balls flying.