Surreal, sad and unfulfilled – Augie seniors coming to terms with no spring sports

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Three Augustana seniors reflect on sudden end to their college careers because of COVID-19

No senior day. No season-finale applause. No memories.

“I guess it’s still surreal at the moment because we don’t know what to do,” said senior Joshua Mathis, a thrower on the Vikings track and field team.

It’s a senior season that never was for Augustana athletes.

“We’re all upset. Like we’re all just kind of shocked at this,” said Zeana Badawi, the lone senior on the Augustana women’s tennis team. “I’m sad at this point. This was probably going to be my best season.”

Seniors everywhere are now coming to grips.

“It’s just a feeling of unfulfillment, really,” said senior baseball player Sam Beyer. “We were all a little upset at first, thinking like why are they taking this away from us. We’re just Division III, we don’t have fans coming to our game. We can still play, why is it affecting us? And then as the days go on, we start realizing that we really don’t have any control over this.”

The COVID-19 virus forced the end of athletic careers across the country. That’s something the Augie student-athletes begrudgingly understand.

“I think it’s hard for me to feel angry, because at the end of the day I do feel like this is the best decision for us. I think that it’s gonna get worse before it gets better, so we might as well be proactive rather than reactive,” Badawi said.

“You pretty much take a whole season and it just goes down the drain because of something like this,” Mathis said. “But I respect the decision of the NCAA, just to stop the outbreak and what’s going on.”

Perspective on an unprecedented situation.

“It’s starting to set in a little bit,” Mathis said. “It sucks, but I’m happy the way it ended. Getting to go to the National Championship meet.”

Reflection on what competing in college meant to these seniors, on-and-off the playing surface.

“I’ve grown to love each and everyone of these girls, to be able to lead them and be their captain,” Badawi said.

“Appreciate our coaches, appreciate our friends and families that we’ve come in contact with, with playing baseball,” Beyer said. “Now we’ve got to accept it and move on.”

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