CHS athletic director reflects on lost spring sports
By: JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
The memories of a spring sports’ season were tarnished by the coronavirus lockdown, but there was still some positivity that came about. According to Carlinville High School coach, teacher and athletic director Darrin DeNeve, it was more than just a game.
The community had never experienced an incident such as this one, which obviously yielded dissapointment. In any other year, athletes and fans would have been gearing up for postseason action at this time.
“Each season we feature the culmination of several hours (even years) of preparation by lots of different people,” DeNeve said in a recent ‘Today In Carlinville Athletics’ message,” Student activities are an integral part of the overall educational experience, and it has been both difficult and strange not to have them around the last couple of months. Of course, it is especially difficult for our seniors who have worked so hard and dedicated several years of their lives to a particular activity. I do feel particularly bad for them.”
As a parent of two highly-successful student-athletes, DeNeve said he possessed the acute awareness of how much time can truly be spent on committing to a particular activity. While he is additionally familiar with the benefits that come from such efforts, DeNeve thinks that another perspective can be provided outside of athletics.
“Some introspection about the role sports play in our lives can help some of us at this time,” said DeNeve. “We might want to ask ourselves ‘What is it that we truly miss about sports?’ ‘Is it the competition?’ ‘Is it the enjoyment we get from watching others compete?’ ‘Are our student-athletes and coaches missing going to practices, where they are not only preparing for competition, but also developing relationships and reaping the benefits from working together towards a common goal?’ ‘Do we really miss hollering at umpires and referees?’ ‘Do we really miss complaining about coaches for their decision making?’ ‘Is it becoming clearer to us that sports provide us with opportunities to experience highs and lows that help teach us to become better people, and that these highs and lows are not really as big of a deal as we make them out to be?’ Depending on who you are, asking yourself what you miss about sports could possibly give you a better attitude when we are able to resume competition. I’m sure you could make a similar argument about other activities that have been paused for you during this time.”
Nevertheless, DeNeve is encouraging people to stay active when possible and continue to exercise good sportsmanship.
“My own kids are a little older and have been pretty busy with their studies,” said DeNeve. “However, I sincerely hope that there are a lot of younger kids in the district who are getting some time to play in way that is not quite as structured as they have become used to. I’m hoping some siblings are playing some wiffle ball games in their yards with rules that they are making up themselves, learning what a “ghost runner” is, figuring out how to play “21” or “HORSE” with their siblings in basketball, those sorts of things. I hope some big brothers or sisters are adjusting the games they play with a sibling to make it fair for everyone. Maybe I’m being nostalgic, but I do think some of these have been missing for several years and I’m hopeful that several youngsters are out there bringing it back.”