Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, July 7, 2020
PRESS PASS By Katie McDonald PRESS PASS By Katie McDonald

Missing my extended family

Thursday, March 26, 2020 by The Press in Sports

I could make a case for my favorite sports season being fall, winter, spring, or summer, but I was in the middle of favoring winter when I watched what was left of that season crumble before my eyes on March 12.

What was left were Freedom’s girls’ basketball, Bethlehem Catholic girls’ basketball, Liberty swimming, Moravian Academy diving, and Bethlehem Catholic diving, all in the middle of PIAA state tournaments and meets.

That Tuesday, I had covered the Lady Patriots beating Central Bucks West, and their screams of excitement and joy about heading to the quarterfinals I took all the way home with me.

That Wednesday, I covered the Lady Hawks beating Gwynned Mercy Academy, and I can still see their looks of confidence and planned continuous determination about their upcoming quarterfinal.

On that Thursday, I was scrolling through Twitter to check up on the Liberty swimmers, and the two divers from Becahi and Moravian, who were all competing at Bucknell University.

I can’t remember which came first, whether it was the tweet that announced the end to the state swimming and diving meet, or the postponement of the girls’ basketball games. What I do remember is that I was sad.

Sports is my world in the sense that I have an occupation that brings me a lot of joy. From my purely sports writer perspective, each season happily reunites me with the coaches and players I haven’t seen in months, and we pick up right where we left off.

It also reunites me with the announcers, scorekeepers, and officials, with whom I’ve grown a fun camaraderie.

District and state playoffs expand my sports world with fellow media members because we’re all together, covering the same games instead of being scattered at different ones. Playoffs allow me to spend time with familiar reporters and photographers and meet new ones; people who are of the same mind and who are like me because we all do the same thing, have the same experiences, and, truth be told, have the same senses of humor. I also get to travel to other venues outside the Lehigh Valley, and if I’m lucky, land in Hershey for a state final.

All this expansion was happening the week of March 9, and my sports world was becoming bigger than myself, and then it was halted and grew smaller, and all of the coaches, players, announcers, scorekeepers, officials, reporters, photographers, and venues would not be my world, and for how long, I didn’t know. And that’s why I was sad.

That Friday, I had the chance to speak to some fellow sports writers, and even then, after all the stoppages, we were of the same mind. We made inappropriate jokes about toilet paper, worried about our paychecks, empathized with the coaches, players, and parents, and then we sadly realized that our team, our media team, wasn’t going to get to play out the rest of our season either.

I don’t know whether my next happy reunion will be with winter, spring, or summer sports, but I do know that, like the Pates, the Hawks, and the Hurricanes, I’m part of a team that will continue to do our part in our jobs, but in a different way for the time being.