Adam Stilts, Ryne Hanslow, Cullen McBride and Trenton Segarra didn’t think it was possible at first.
When COVID-19 shut down all spring sports throughout the country, the aforementioned four understandably thought their respective freshmen seasons in college were washed down the drain.
But when the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility, it gave new life to each of them. That’s why losing this season had its mixed emotions as opposed to high school seniors, who will never get to be prep athletes again.
“It was and it wasn’t. I’m glad I get another year,” said McBride, a 2019 Staunton High graduate who attended Illinois College this past year. “I’m glad I get that extended opportunity to play next year, but I was extremely grateful because when all this got canceled, it was a week after our Florida trip. We got eight games down there, we had an exhibition game against MacMurray (College) and there were a couple JV games. I got to pitch in a couple varsity games down there and played some JV games. I’m glad I got the year back and a year stronger.”
An added bonus for McBride, Stilts (Alton High, Lewis and Clark Community College), Hanslow (Southwestern High, L&C) and Segarra (Gillespie High, L&C) is they get to play this summer in the COVID League to prep for next season. Alton was scheduled to play a doubleheader in Rhineland, Missouri, on Saturday.
“It’s good to get back on the field,” said Hanslow, a righthander who pitched three games for L&C in the spring. “Something we lost, we didn’t get our college first experience. We played seven games and now to get another chance to play this summer, keep our arms loose this summer and everything, it’s good to get back on the field.
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