NORMAL, Ill. — Searching for the schools first ever sectional championship in boys basketball, Normal West was just one win shy of achieving that goal in March. But the Corona virus shutdown didnt allow the Wildcats a chance to make school history.
“We go one game at a time, and so we weren’t really thinking ahead to it, but we just kept winning and we were on a roll,” Normal West senior Alec McGinnis. “And so the energy was really high for this game so we were really looking forward to it and definitely had a shot of getting it.”
“Normal West boys basketball team who’s in a Sweet 16 and didn’t have an opportunity to put a final touch on their season,” Normal West baseball coach Chris Hawkins said. “When you start feeling sorry for yourself, all you have to do is start thinking of some of the other teams and of course our seniors. No one really has been spared by this.”
Many of those basketball players were also looking forward to baseball season. A team that won 30 games last year and returned six starters. But they wont get a chance at a full season in baseball either.
“Five or six of the returning seniors, the returning starters for the baseball team have played together since we were eight or nine years old,” Normal West senior Evan Hutson said. “And so that energy has been building for 10 years, so it’s obviously disappointing to have that kind of cut short.”
The Wildcats seniors are hopeful they can play baseball at least one final time before college. They say this is a great learning experience for the rest of their lives.
“Making sure that everyone knows we are still there for each other, and making sure there is still love out there, even though we cant be with each other but everyone still knows,” McGinnis added.
“There have been people who have lost their jobs, there have been people who have lost their lives, so that really put it in perspective,” Hutson said. “In the grand scheme of things, academics and athletics are great, but there is more to life than just that.”