The Journal is shining the spotlight on high school senior athletes whose seasons were cut short because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Jack Richardson has played organized lacrosse dating back to age 6 or 7. He looked forward to a final season as a captain on the Mount Tabor boys lacrosse team. However, the coronavirus outbreak put an early end to his senior year.
Richardson shared his thoughts in a Zoom conference. Here are the highlights:
Q: What are you missing most about school and lacrosse?
Answer: Probably, the thing I'm missing about school, is seeing everybody's faces and all my teachers — definitely the teachers. Just the kind of energy and the vibe the teachers give off to a classroom is something I really miss just because, now that I'm home and alone, it's like I really only see a couple people when I'm really used to seeing 30 kids throughout five different classes a-day. And then, probably on the lacrosse field, I miss competing the most. Going after it on the lacrosse field was just the best thing. The weather was starting to get good and those are the best kinds of practices, when everyone's just competing and getting after it and everyone's having fun.
Q: How are you keeping busy and remaining fit?
Answer: I've been doing a lot of just random projects. Like I built a shelf for my mom (Jennifer) for Mother's Day and I've been doing random stuff around the house. Me and my dad (Greg) have been doing a lot of yard work — mulched our yard. We all have the time as a family now, so we've been doing a lot of family stuff. I started to get into biking. I bike around my neighborhood, and I actually live next to (C.G. Hill Memorial Park) so I've been biking there a lot, too. And also a lot of walks.
Q: If you could have one thing back that COVID-19 has taken from you, what would it be?
Answer: Probably my senior year and the fact that we aren't able to walk across the stage (at graduation). And the hundreds of classes that got to walk across the stage before us, we're just that one little lump in history that wasn't able to graduate across the stage. Which, I don't know, I feel like that's really bad and I know a lot of people definitely aren't happy with how they just made the decision so quick that we were already doing like an online ceremony instead of maybe waiting a little longer. I don't know, but that's probably the one thing.
Q: What were a few of your goals throughout senior year, and were those altered?
Answer: One of my biggest goals was probably trying to get all-conference this year and make it pretty far into the playoffs — and that definitely got messed up by the coronavirus. And some of my other goals were just getting into colleges and I did that, for the most part, which wasn't really affected by the coronavirus that much. Pretty much the only thing really is lacrosse that was affected by it. And there's a lot of goals I had in lacrosse, like trying to go for a state championship, trying to get my stats good. ... It was more about being a better team captain, at that point, because it was more of my senior year and it was going to be my last year.
Q: What’s been your source of motivation during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Answer: Just getting out. ... Everybody has, like, chill time now. Everybody's not really doing anything. So the motivation is more of, like, making yourself get up and get out of bed, go outside and do more active stuff instead of just sitting inside cramped up all day. Trying to be more active, so I guess my motivation for that is just I hate sitting around in the house all day just doing nothing.
Q: Who’s the person you couldn’t get through this without?
Answer: Probably one of my best friends, Matt Gemmell. He's another midfielder on the team. I've known him since I was in fifth grade and, ever since, me and him have been on every lacrosse team together and played together forever.
Q: What have you seen, heard or done during this difficult time that’s made you smile?
Answer: Cascade, who makes the lacrosse helmets, has actually started making those full-face visors for (doctors and nurses) to wear when they're operating and stuff. And I thought that was really cool. And a bunch of different lacrosse brands have started making cloth masks and stuff. And I know that a lot of people, like all over social media, are working really really hard to make custom masks for people. And I think that's good because it doesn't force you to wear the mask but you're like, 'Oh, that's kind of cool. I want to wear the mask now. I want to do my part to try and protect everybody else.'