Hope turned to heartbreak after student-athletes from Ceres High and Central Valley found out the spring sports season was canceled on April 1 when Ceres Unified and the other school districts in Stanislaus County extended campus closures through the end of the 2019-20 academic year to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.
“It still seems like a cruel April Fool’s joke,” Ceres High senior baseball player Justin Prestridge. “It really sucks. Everybody looks forward to Senior Night. Unfortunately, we don’t get one. I’m going to miss how we enjoyed ourselves. Every time we were in the dugouts, we were having fun.”
Scarlett Lloyd, Vianney Perez and Erick Martinez Stucchi also talked about the disappointment of having their prep athletic careers cut short.
“I’m heartbroken and sad that I will not be able to play for CV again."Scarlett Lloyd
“I’m heartbroken and sad that I will not be able to play for CV again,” said Lloyd, a four-year standout with the Hawks’ varsity softball program. “I loved that team and both (head coach) Regina Selfridge and (assistant) Brandy Cordova so much. I’ll always remember the good times we had and all the memories we created together.”
“I’m going to miss the bus rides to our games,” she added. “Blasting our music in the back and getting game ready was something we looked forward to every away game. I’m also going to miss playing alongside my sister (Victoria). This was our first and last year playing together.”
“I know I’m going to get to play in college,” said Perez, a four-year varsity softball standout with the Bulldogs, who earned a scholarship to Cal State Monterey. “It’s sad I didn’t get to finish the year off with my teammates. I’m going to miss competing and laughing in the dugouts with them. The bus rides were really fun.”
“I thought about that (not having Senior Night) a lot,” said Martinez Stucchi, a second-year player on Central Valley’s varsity boys volleyball team. “It would have been nice to have that recognition. I didn’t play last season and decided to come back this year. I created a bond with the guys. It was fun joking around at practice and on the bus. The excitement and fun is what I’m going to miss the most.”
The spring sports season was originally postponed until further notice on March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The stoppage was extended through May 1 on March 26.
Bulldog and Hawk student-athletes had been practicing on their own time as they held out hope the spring sports season would resume.
Last Wednesday’s decision by Ceres Unified and other districts in Stanislaus County to shut down campuses for the remainder of the spring semester prevented that from happening.
State Superintendent of Instruction Tony Thurmond and Governor Gavin Newsom provided the directive.
“We would have made playoffs for sure,” Prestridge said. “We would have had a good chance winning league. We had a lot of young talent. There’s a bright future for the program.”
“I honestly think we would have won league again and made it further in playoffs,” Perez added.