Photo contributed by Taylor Huddleston
As I sat on an early-return airplane flight back from Frisco, Texas to Huntington, West Virginia, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, also known as the coronavirus.
Life isn’t fair, but we just have to accept reality the way it is provided for us. As the sports editor for The Parthenon, I was fortunate enough to travel halfway across the United States to cover the 2020 Conference USA Basketball Tournament for the Marshall University men and women’s basketball teams.
Both men and women’s basketball teams won their first-round games in the C-USA Tournament.
The No. 8 seeded women’s team defeated the No. 9 seed, the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, in an overtime thriller win with a final score of 71-67. I watched the women celebrate their much-deserved win after battling until the final buzzer went off. That was the first conference tournament game win for them since 2016.
The women were supposed to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament and face the No.1 seed Rice University Owls…but that didn’t happen.
The No. 6 seeded Herd men’s team defeated the No. 11 seed University of Texas at El Paso Miners with a final score of 86-78. I watched the men celebrate the hard-fought game they deserved to win.
The men were supposed to advance to the quarterfinals with a matchup against No. 3 Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs…but that didn’t happen.
I watched the instant reactions of multiple people, the media, the families, the fans, the bands, the cheerleaders, the coaches and the players when Conference USA announced just moments before our own women’s basketball game that the tournament was canceled due to taking safety precautions of the coronavirus.
My heart aches for the senior athletes of all spring sports who did not get to end their seasons as they wanted. My heart aches knowing that there are no sports going on in the United States and all across the world. My heart aches knowing that as sports editor, I don’t have Marshall sporting events to cover in order to write a story or create a video. I don’t have interviews to conduct with student athletes, coaches or fans. My heart aches because all major, minor, professional and other sports leagues are either postponing or canceling the remainder of their seasons.
While I understand the reasonings and decisions behind the health and safety concerns, it just hurts to see all sports have to come to an instant halt. It feels like we are pausing a portion of our lives, and some do not know what to do. The coronavirus pandemic has deeply affected our people in the sports world.
It’s all about appreciating sports and what all they have to offer to athletes, fans, coaches, media and others. Like a lot of people, my life is centered around sports. I played several sports growing up and fell in love with the profession of covering all sports as a passion that I want to pursue for the rest of my life.
Make sure to think about and thank our Marshall University student athletes for all their hard work and dedication to the sports they love. Because of them, Marshall thrives on athletic success. We are all one big Herd Family, and families can get through any problem that arises in our lives.
Taylor Huddleston can be contacted at [email protected]