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(Not) playing it day-by-day

With covid numbers rising, decisions to play to be made on a week-by-week basis






South Boston News
Park View baseball seniors, from left: Cameron Shook, Justyn Hudson, Ethan Stanley and Jarrett Hamby. (Steve Hinzman photo) / May 13, 2020
Longtime teammates and outgoing seniors, four members of the Park View baseball team took to the diamond this week not to chase down grounders or take swings at the plate, but to reminisce about previous seasons and to lament the loss of their last chance to represent Park View as student athletes.

The baseball team was to have been led by this talented core of four seniors. “Because of these four guys [and a talented underclass] we really expected to do something special this year,” said their coach, Mike Greene.

These four seniors — Justyn Hudson, Jarrett Hamby, Ethan Stanley and Cameron Shook — expressed universal disappointment that they have lost the chance to represent their team in their final year.

“We’ve played together or against one another since we were four years old,” said one, “and not getting to finish it together hurts.”

Barring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances the Dragons should surely have contended for district and regional championships and a return to the state tournament was considered by many to be probable. The Dragons, with these four players as juniors, were champions of the Tri-Rivers District regular season and tournament in 2019.

The Dragons followed up their district success with an impressive run in the VHSL Class 3 Region A playoffs. The Dragons opened the 2019 Region A tournament with a pair of thrilling one-run victories, first over Lakeland High (1-0) and then 4-3 over Colonial Heights before falling to perennial powerhouse Tabb Tigers, 11-1, in the final. Tabb would finish as runner-up in the VHSL State Tournament after falling to Fluvanna County 16-10 in the championship game.

As Region A runners up, Park View traveled to Northern Virginia to face Brentsville District, champions of Region B, in the opening round. Park View played valiantly but came up short to the Tigers 5-4, ending the 2019 season in heartbreaking fashion.

Moving forward and echoing the words of Greene, these young men will have the state of Virginia covered with their future collegiate plans.

Hudson, a rangy 6’4” pitcher and third baseman, will attend Bridgewater College in the upper Shenandoah Valley and intends to play baseball. At press time his course of study remains undecided. Justyn enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time.

Hamby, a pitcher and infielder for the Dragons and an avid outdoorsman, plans to attend Ferrum College just north of Martinsville. Hamby plans to study either criminal justice or health and human sciences and play baseball for the Panthers.

Stanley, an infielder/outfielder and a force with the bat for PV, will attend the University of Virginia and study biology and pre-med. Ethan also enjoys hunting, fishing and playing video games and basketball in his spare time.

Shook, or “Shooky” to his friends, is a pitcher and outfielder for the Dragons. Cameron plans to attend Virginia Tech in the fall where he will pursue a degree in engineering. Shook also fills his spare time in the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and spending time on the lake with family and friends.

Park View Athletics Director Mike Barmoy had this to say about the situation: “It’s just frustrating to not see baseball, or any spring sport. I feel bad for all the seniors, for a lot of them this is it, they may never get to play again be it baseball, softball, soccer, track, or whatever, this is it.

“It’s tough because they’ve played JV for two years, sat behind all the seniors last year and this was the year they were going to get to play. It’s just sad that this is how it ends.”

Greene added, “We’re sort of lucky, if you can call it that, because we didn’t have more seniors this year to compound the problem. If things get back to normal hopefully the next class won’t have to experience this.”

With consolidation of the county’s secondary schools looming, the days of the Park View Dragons and the Bluestone Barons are numbered. Missing the 2019 spring sports season has been emotionally devastating for student athletes across the country. This loss cannot be recouped, so let’s hope the 2020-21 seasons will be closer to normal.

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