La Feria News

La Feria coaches ponder uncertain future amid pandemic

The La Feria soccer and softball teams are both in a state of limbo amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Photos: Courtesy La Feria ISD

By DAVE FAVILA
LFN

LA FERIA – On Friday, March 13, the La Feria Lionettes soccer team defeated Brownsville Jubilee to conclude the regular season and finish with a 13-5 district record.

At the time, the team was set to enter the postseason as a No. 3 seed and was expected to play IDEA Quest in the first round of the UIL state playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Lionettes softball team had dropped its district opener against Progreso on March 10 and was looking to rebound with a victory over Port Isabel on March 13. Although the squad was under .500 at 5-6, the whole season lay ahead with plenty of optimism and promise.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States with a bang on March 13 and suddenly the athletic world stopped. At first, several school districts decided to cancel or postpone games through March 20. But soon afterward, the UIL stepped in and put a halt to all games until at least May 4. The UIL has stated that schools may be allowed to conduct practices or workouts prior to May 4 if our current situation improves, but there is, of course, no guarantee.

So until things get back to normal, whenever that may be, teams like the Lionettes soccer and softball teams have no choice but to still, wait and wonder.

“The last time I spoke with the team was the Friday before Spring Break after our last district game,” said Lionettes soccer coach Juan Echeverria. “At that time, due to the uncertainty, I congratulated and thanked the team for their effort and dedication throughout the season thus far.

While Echeverria remains hopeful that the playoffs will be allowed to continue once things normalize, he knows the possibility remains that his girls may have concluded their season, which would be especially tough on the team’s seniors.

“Our seniors stepped up throughout the season as leaders and role models during practices and during the games,” he said. “For their effort, commitment and leadership, I want to thank each and every one of our seniors, and wish them the best in whatever paths they choose to follow. It has been a great pleasure and privilege to have worked with them as their coach this season. I thank the seniors and hope our season is not over yet.”

Lionettes softball coach Daryl Gonzales also said he spoke with his team before Spring Break and tried his best to give them hope moving forward.
“This whole situation is tough for everyone to handle, but I feel it is a bit tougher for my team since I have 11 seniors,” Gonzales said.

“I’ve told them, before anything, to stay safe. They are aware that we cannot do anything until May 4, so that makes it a bit difficult to stay optimistic that we will still have a season when we do get back.”

“But even though things don’t end the way we expect them to, we should always look back at the times that made our time together special. Especially when it comes to making memories with friends.”

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