Multi-sport high school athletes face challenges due to new sports calendar

Bridget Condon Image
Friday, August 14, 2020
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"It's heartbreaking, you lead up to this culmination of your high school career and you only get one chance at high school."

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two days after the North Carolina High School Athletics Assocationa released its amended schedule postponing fall sports until at least November, Commissioner Que Tucker said all districts should halt scheduling, promising more information in a few weeks.

Tucker said she would make an announcement by Sept. 4, but a lot of student athletes are left with unanswered questions.

"It's been interesting," said parent Len Annetta. "We are definitely navigating uncharted waters right now and it's a moving target. As a parent of a rising high school senior we've just been waiting to see how this pandemic would play out and if and when they would be able to participate in school and sports."

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Her son, Joey Annetta, usually plays football in the fall and lacrosse in the spring.

"When the news came out on Wednesday, my first reaction was shocked," said Holly Springs senior Joey Annetta. "I don't know what I'm going to do, play football or lacrosse. Some of the guys they're just like alright we're just going to roll with this. Some of the guys are multi-sport athletes and I think their first option was to go with football, but just kind of struggling having to choose one sport."

Joey is committed to play lacrosse at Loyola Maryland, but he's been playing football for the past decade and wants to close out that chapter with his senior season. Now, those sports overlap with the amended calendar, leaving him with a tough decision to make.

"I want to play both," he said. "If I can choose to play both then I will. If I have to play multiple games in a week then I will. It's not up to me. If a coach in the college program I'm committed to says you can't play football, we need you in the fall, then I don't really have a say in it. "

"It's heartbreaking, you lead up to this culmination of your high school career and you only get one chance at high school," Len Annetta said. "He's fortunate that he's already committed to play division one lacrosse at one of the best colleges in the country, but man, he's with his friends and they've been working so hard for this. Especially with Holly Springs, they've done pretty well in football the last couple years"

Joey's teammate Zion Watson is verbally committed to play football in college, but wanted to use his senior season to continue showcasing his talent.

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"A lot of stuff changes," Watson said. "We weren't really prepared for this, so we just have to roll with the punches and practices and everything. We don't know when that starts. We just have to keep telling ourselves that it's going to happen and just keep on working, and our hard work is all going to pay off when it does happen. That's just what we keep on telling ourselves."

Zion and Joey having been working out together, keeping each other and the Holly Springs football team motivated and ready no matter what happens.

"We can't really do anything about it, so why stress over it if we can't do anything about it," Watson said. "We can only work on the future and work for what comes. It would be devastating if they cancel it, but we really don't have any control over it. If it happens, it happens."