Spring sports senior profiles, an ongoing series

by Kelley Pearson, Sports Editor

With the spring sports season in question, we here at the Coalfield Progress/Dickenson Star/Big Stone Gap Post hope to run a profile on each and every senior in the paper. Our intention is to give them and their families something to feel happy about in a time of such uncertainty. This will be an ongoing series with different students featured each week.

Central baseball’s Jordan Bishop

Jordan Bishop has grown up playing baseball and basketball for as long as he remembers.

“I don’t recall a day going by where I did not have a ball in my hands,” Bishop said.

The eighteen-year-old recently signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Milligan College where he will major in mechanical engineering.

Bishop is having a hard time grasping the concept of potentially losing his senior baseball season with the Warriors.

“It is hard to realize that my senior year is over and it is still March. It hurts knowing that the class of 2020 is not going to have a senior year like any other class. Some of us looked forward to all the things we had scheduled for this spring semester. Things like senior trip and our senior picnic are some of the things we are going to miss out on. It is really devastating for a lot of us, especially me. This was supposed to be a year for all of us seniors to have fun, enjoy and spend it with each other knowing we all are going our separate ways. Although this year hasn’t planned out like most of us had wanted, my friends and I have tried to make the most of this by spending this time together. With knowing that there is still a chance for the spring sports season gives me some hope and diligence to continue to work hard,” Bishop said.

In parting words to underclassmen and teammates, Bishop encourages them to “Always have fun and enjoy the moment. Don’t take anything for granted because you never know when it could be taken away from you.”

Central softball’s Hannah Carter

Hannah Carter developed a love of sports early, participating in ballet at the age of three years old. In kindergarten, she moved on to t-ball and basketball and eventually cross-country and gymnastics. But, as she got older, she focused more on softball and basketball.

“The summer when I was 12, my dad started a travel softball team and that consumed my summers until high school basketball hit. I played in team basketball summer camps every month of June while also playing for my dad’s softball team, so it is safe to say that sports have been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Carter said.

Eighteen-year-old Carter has chosen not to continue her athletic career as she will be focusing all of her time majoring in biology at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. She will then pursue a career in the medical fields citing helping others is “essentially my favorite part of life”.

Carter has had a lot of mixed emotions dealing with the concept that her senior academic year is over as well as still dealing with the potential of not having a final year of softball.

“I have cried until I cannot cry anymore, and the worst part of it all is that I didn’t even know it was my last day. It was my last day walking the halls of Central High School with my best friends and I didn’t even know it. It also did not cross my mind that I might’ve been playing in my last softball game (scrimmage) ever for Central High. Like I said before, sports have been a major part of my life and in just a short time, it is essentially all over,” Carter said.

To her fellow teammates, Carter said, “Thank you for all of the amazing memories. Thank you all for being everything I ever could’ve hoped for. Even though we have been sold short, there is always hope for the future. Continue to work hard like we know how, for your future is in your own hands. I will always proudly call myself a Central Warrior and so should you all.”

Carter also issued a special thank you to all of her coaches, teachers and mentors who have supported her on her journey so far.

“You all are the reason I am who I am today, but I am not done yet,” Carter said.

Central softball’s Olivia Basham

Olivia Basham has been playing sports since she could walk and has tried every single sport that she was able to try in this area. By her senior year, she had settled on softball. She has played in the outfield for the Lady Warriors for all four years of her high school career.

“Though I found myself loving and continuing a number of sports and activities throughout the years, there has never been a sport I have loved quite like softball. Ever since I was 8 years old, I have been playing travel ball on various travel teams in the months of March-October,” Basham said.

Basham, 17, is more than just a softball player. She is involved in the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, International Club, Pep Club and the Ladies in Red A Capella group at Central High School.

Basham has been accepted into the Honors Program at Emory & Henry College where she will be pursing a degree in elementary education and hopes to eventually coach softball someday. She opted not to play sports in college to focus on her career.

Basham is at a loss knowing her senior academic year is over and that her final softball season hangs in the balance.

“If you would have told me a month ago that March 13, 2020 would be my last day of high school, I would have never believed you. If you would have told me that my senior trip, senior prom, graduation and last softball season were almost positively gone, I would have said you were crazy. Unfortunately, for my class, the class of 2020, those statements are our new reality. To be honest, at first I didn’t know exactly how to feel. I still am not quite sure,” Basham said.

To the rest of the world, Basham sends these words of encouragement: “I hope so badly that our world can quickly heal from this terrible pandemic and I pray that together we are able to move forward and make the best out of the situation that we’ve been placed in.”

And to her teammates, Basham wants everyone not to take tomorrow for granted.

“Every practice, every scrimmage, every game, play like you’ll never put your cleats back on, because I promise I had no clue that day could be so soon for me. I know that if our season can be salvaged, this will only make us stronger, closer, and more appreciative of every second we spend playing this wonderful game. You are all so talented and I have so much hope that every single one of you has the power to make a difference in the game of softball and in life in general.”