Greenback seniors had high expectations for 2020 softball
Pratt High School seniors Halley Perez, Elizabeth Voss, and Jazmine Askew were all looking forward to one particular spring activity: softball. Though their last season together was cut short from COVID-19, the athletes are keeping a positive outlook on the remainder of their high school career. Especially since none of them will be continuing softball in college, they had many high expectations for their final softball season.
Perez has been playing softball her whole life, but she started playing seriously her freshman year and lettered her junior and senior years, and Pratt went to State her freshman year earning 3rd place. Perez was looking forward to this season of growing with her team.
“I was looking forward to our growth as a team,” Perez said. “Throughout the years of being on the Pratt High softball team, I always saw so much talent. With that being said, our team this year was beyond talented. We had girls playing all summer and during their open seasons.”
One of the reasons Perez was so excited for this season was because of the bond the team had.
“The chemistry that all of us girls had this year was amazing and that is something that all of us were looking forward to,” Perez said. “I know that many girls on the team expected to have a strong season. Unfortunately, we will never know how this season would have went. But from the couple of practices we did have, I think we all knew we were going to come out strong and determined.”
Perez hopes future Pratt High softball players remember and mimic her good attitude and encouraging nature.
“I always tried to be positive and lift my teammates up and although it was hard sometimes, my teammates would lift me up and that is what it’s about,” Perez said. “I hope the girls keep it up.”
To Perez, the cancellations of school and activities have been a hard hit.
“This situation has been one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with,” Perez said. “I remember the first day back on the field and I told myself that this year was going to be one to remember and I wasn’t wrong. Although this is a very hard time for all seniors, I feel as if we need to just be grateful for the short time we did have on the field.”
Though this is a tough situation for her, her classmates, and her teammates, she thinks the Class of 2020 is handling the situation well.
“Not knowing whether or not we will get a graduation and the fact that we aren’t going to get to walk in the halls one last time is scary. I know that every one of us was devastated hearing the news, yet we are all keeping calm and staying positive. We have no control over what is happening and at this point we are all being here for each other and that is so amazing to me,” Perez said. “My classmates and I have all been super close these last four years, as well as our time in middle school and we are all trying to push through and keep a positive outlook on the rest of our senior year.”
Elizabeth Voss has been playing recreational ball since she was young with her mom and aunt coaching her and her cousin’s team. Her love for softball grew, and she started playing competitively at the age of 9.
Voss lettered all of her years of high school softball, and was also on the team when they went to state her freshman year.
“I was really looking forward to the group of girls I was going to be able to play with this year,” Voss said. “I think we had great potential and we all had the mindset to do great things this season.”
One of her favorite team traditions she hopes to leave behind is bonding outside of softball.
“I hope that the years after me will continue to do outside activities with each other,” Voss said. “We always tried to get our varsity together before games and just have some bonding time and I hope that continues.”
The COVID-19 situation has been hard on Voss as well.
“If I’m being honest, this whole thing has been very rough,” Voss said. “I have definitely let out a lot of tears, but I have been leaning on my faith a lot through this difficult time. I know that God has a plan and I trust in Him.
My freshman year we made it all the way to state and took home the 3rd place plaque.”
A new Pratt High student this year, Jazmine Askew, never got a full softball season as a Greenback. Askew started playing softball at a very young age as well and played through middle school. Her freshman and sophomore years of high school, she instead went out for track, but started softball again her junior year and was anticipating her senior season at Pratt.
“I was looking forward to building a bond with these girls and being about to help them and teach them whatever I can,” Askew said.
Askew has seen the value of hard work, and hopes future classes remember to not take for granted the bonds made with teammates.
“Always cherish that,” Askew said. “Always try your hardest even when you feel you’re at your lowest.”
Along with Perez and Voss, Askew is disappointed about the end of her senior year, but hasn’t let it get her down.
“I have been making the best out of it keeping myself busy and in shape,” Askew said. “Even though we have had a lot of activities that we were looking forward to, I think we will find some way to make the best of it.”
Askew is thankful for her senior year at Pratt, even if it didn’t end the way she wanted it to.
“Since it is my first year here at Pratt I am very sad that I didn’t get to finish it,” Askew said. “Pratt has made every part of my senior year amazing and I wish I could have enjoyed every bit of it with my friends, teammates, coaches, and teachers.”
Though she won’t be playing softball in college, Askew has plans to study and pursue a career in criminal justice.