Editor's note: Community School of Naples multi-sport athlete Jay Beshears gave the following first-person account to the Daily News, of the second half of his senior year and how it came to a quick halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Beshears announced his commitment to play baseball for Northwestern last August. Beshears had an excellent junior season, hitting at a .561 clip with 10 doubles, three triples, two home runs, and 20 runs batted in en route to a Daily News All-Area First Team Selection.
Eight months later, Beshears was playing for a CSN basketball program that had arguably its most historic season in history, winning 29 consecutive games and getting to the Final Four in Class 3A. Beshears averaged 18 points, 8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.4 steals a game on the court this season.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, spring sports had to be put on hold, until ultimately being canceled altogether. Beshears was aiming to have an even better senior campaign on the diamond.
I had just completed my senior year of high school basketball.
What a historic season for the team, school, and me personally. Reaching the state Final Four was a tremendous achievement and dream that I accomplished with my teammates.
Although my final game did not turn out the way I had hoped, I knew I had the opportunity to make new memories and accomplish more goals with my baseball team. I was excited for my next season with a team I have been playing for since eighth grade.
The past year I completed one of my most prominent statistical years of baseball, and I was ecstatic to see if I could improve. In addition, I was always under the other seniors leading the team and I was excited to take on that leadership position.
I returned to baseball practices as normal every day after school and got into the routine once again. I felt like this year was the chance for me to help others learn and to hopefully be a leader the underclassmen looked up to.
However, once I was beginning to practice and play my first game on the diamond since basketball season, news of the coronavirus began to crowd the television and news. I started reading articles and hearing word of how severe the virus was around the world, and how it could likely spread to the United States. As time passed, there were cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and the numbers were growing exponentially.
Although the virus was present in the country, I was not sure how influential it would be in our season and the remainder of the school year. Furthermore, news of some high schools and universities were closing due to the presence of the virus.
That's when I began to get nervous.
I was wondering if this virus was going to change our baseball season. I later heard news that our governor made the decision that all public schools will close.
That's when I knew this could not be a promising sign for my baseball season. Our coach called us into the dugout and had information explaining how our season has been postponed.
This was not ideal.
The thought of pausing our games and practices was extremely disappointing. A few days later, our school was postponed as well. The situation was tough to comprehend and it left me speechless, questioning all the possibilities in the future.
I was ready to play my senior year of baseball. To have it canceled was devastating.
Having this year stripped away created multiple issues. Our motto during basketball season was to deal with adversity and work to overcome the troubles in the game, and in life.
Since learning to deal with adversity throughout the season, this is another task that needed to be overcome through positivity.
I am disappointed that I was not able to finish out my high school career playing the sport I love with my teammates and coaches. However, I am grateful that I will have the opportunity next year to continue playing baseball at the next level. Although it was extremely unexpected and saddening, I am taking advantage of the unfortunate time to stay healthy and prepare for next year.
I am looking on the bright side of things and taking steps forward to continue improving my game. I am deeply disappointed in the result of this spring season, but I know it was out of my control and I need to keep a positive attitude and keep getting better.
For those seniors from Collier County who lost out on celebrating their spring seasons, the Naples Daily News wants to recognize you. Look in the Sunday, May 31 sports section or on news-press.com as we recognize the spring sports student-athletes from the Class of 2020.