What a crazy last few weeks it has been for everyone. Personally, for me, having my college career come to an abrupt end, to then hearing about the possibility of stepping on the field again, it has been nothing short of a whirlwind of emotions.
What is going on right now in the world is bigger than us and way bigger than a student-athletes career ending. This is definitely something that us student-athletes from all over have recognized. When we heard the news of the season being canceled, our team was preparing for our first conference game. Everything we had worked for all season long came to a screeching halt. We were in shock, denial, and were struggling to process what was going on. However, there was one thing which remained constant and that was the love and support we all had for each other as a team. We decided that we would continue what was our last practice with this 2020 team and would cherish every last moment we had together on the field, just one last time. I am truly so lucky and proud to be a part of this team and that is what made saying goodbye so hard.
Growing up in Columbus, it was always my dream as a little girl to represent The Ohio State University and wear the Scarlet and Gray. I could not be more thankful that I had the opportunity to live out my dream these past four years. From the impactful relationships I’ve made along the way, to the lessons learned on and off the field, my experience as a Buckeye undoubtedly shaped the person I am today. We welcomed an elite coaching staff this past fall that set new standards- pushing us to be the best players, students, and most importantly, people that we can be. I am so proud of the way my team worked to live up to these standards and grew together each and every day.
When the possibility of returning for a fifth year became a reality, my decision to return was much like my decision to attend the Ohio State University in the first place; a no brainer. To have the opportunity to compete alongside of my teammates and coaches for one more year and have the chance to write my ending on my own terms, is truly a dream come true.
When Coach Amy Bokker told me that I was going to be able to play one more year, I was ecstatic and overcome with gratitude. It is hard to put into words how thankful I am to Mr. Gene Smith, Janine Oman and the rest of the leadership at Ohio State who defined leadership and compassion through this unprecedented time. I am beyond grateful for their unwavering support and dedication to their student-athletes. This proves that this athletic department genuinely wants what is best for us and this decision to support us only further cements why The Ohio State University is the best in the land.
To all the other athletes, in this unprecedented time, we are no longer rivals but united as one as we support each other in these times of uncertainty. To my fellow senior class, we’ve been through so much, good and bad, but I would not change a single thing. Thank you for all the memories and laughs we had together. I am blessed to be able to call you family, and I can’t wait to see what you all accomplish in your next chapter. To my coaches, I am so excited and honored to be coached by all of you again for one more full year. To my teammates, we still have some unfinished business and I can’t wait to get back out there and be a part of it.
“Play every game like it’s your last” has never meant more than it does now. And I promise to do that.