The Journal is shining the spotlight on high school senior athletes whose seasons were cut short because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Jaden Swift, a centerfielder on the Atkins softball team, saw her senior season cut short because of the coronavirus outbreak. That affected her college plans as well. MacMurray College in Illinois, where Swift initially looked to enroll, in April announced the 174-year-old institution would close at the end of the spring semester.
Swift shared her thoughts in a Zoom conference. Here are the highlights:
Q: What are you missing most about softball?
Answer: I was really looking forward to my senior night this year because I saw all of my friends that had their senior night move up. And I was really looking forward to having our own this year. And basically, for senior year overall, I really wanted to hang out with my friends during school and having those memories. … We were having a really good season, so far. This year I was really looking forward to playing more games with my teammates and having more personal connections with the freshmen that had just moved up.
Q: How are you keeping busy and remaining fit?
Answer: I would walk and I would jog around my neighborhood for a few miles. And, if it rains or anything, I have an app on my phone that has workouts that I would just do inside.
Q: What were a few of your goals throughout senior year, and were those altered?
Answer: It was altered because my intended college (MacMurray College) that I was planning to go to closed down due to the coronavirus. But, luckily, I found another college (William Woods University in Missouri) similar to that and it's working out pretty good right now.
Q: What's been your source of motivation during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Answer: Right now, it's my (Advanced Placement) exam on Monday. Just stressing out about it a little bit. But I think I'll get through it. After that, it'll be looking forward to my fall semester of college.
Q: Who's the person you couldn't get through this without?
Answer: My boyfriend, Caleb (Morgan), he's basically my best friend. … We've just been talking every night — just talking through things.
Q: What have you seen, heard or done during this difficult time that's made you smile?
Answer: There was a parade a few weeks ago that I believe the (Sedge Garden Elementary principal, Donald Wyatt) was moving to (East Forsyth Middle School). So all the elementary school students came out into the street and waved at the cars going by.
Q: What are you going to change in your life when restrictions are lifted?
Answer: I'm probably going to keep my distance — like, still be six feet away. But it'll soon change over time, just being more comfortable with people and not stressing about getting sick and worrying that people are getting sick.