(Editor’s note: this is part of a continuing series of stories about athletes affected by the COVID-19 closures).
By Melissa McCaghren
Ty Kinch was having the start of a dream senior year.
He was one of three athletes on the cross country team who advanced to the state meet.
Then, his sights went toward baseball. He has been on Varsity baseball from the middle of his Freshman year to present day.
“I have had two different coaches while at Slaton. My sophomore year we made it into the playoffs and were Bi-District Champions. We have had our ups and downs while I have been there, but this year’s team was on a path to be one of the best I have ever played with,” he said. “My favorite moment was making it to the playoffs and being able to play in the Bi-District Championship. I had never had this type of feeling before and I really enjoyed the atmosphere.”
Alas, that feeling is no more, as the University Interscholastic League ended spring sports for 2020 early due to COVID-19.
Head Coach Dilon Chancellor said the season showed a lot of promise. “We were headed in the right direction to do something very special this year. The kids (had) bought in and were having some success and never gave up on the goals we wanted to meet. Just a bunch of guys that were willing to work hard and do what it takes to win,” he said.
COVID-19 however put things in perspective. “Their health is way more important than this game will ever be and that’s hard for any kid that lives on high school sports, especially those seniors and their last shot,” Chancellor added, saying that they’ve helped the seniors any way they could. “We are all healthy that is the most important thing.”
Kinch said he will miss the bonds he had with his teammates, past and present. “I really enjoyed the competition and being on the field with my team. COVID-19 made that come to an end way too soon,” he said. “We had a really strong team and I had high hopes for this group of guys. We worked hard and I think we would have been one of the dominate teams in our district.”
Chancellor also said it was hard for him to see the team’s season end so abruptly. “It’s been hard of course because you just wonder what could we have accomplished as a team, but what hurts more that anything is the face to face conversations and being to grow those relationships,” he said. “It’s has been challenging and we still make an effort to stay in touch with our kids because one thing I’ve always told them is eventually baseball comes to an end but the relationships can last forever.”
He also took this abrupt season ending into a bigger perspective.
“I think this has allowed us to take a step back and evaluate who we are and what’s important in life. If anything I believe it will give us that drive and laser focus moving into the years to come because a lesson has been learned never take anything for granted cause you never know when it will end for you. We will continue as a team and individual to be spiritual leaders and put our trust in the Lord,” said Chancellor.
For Kinch, his high school career is over as far as baseball.
Now, it’s on to the future.
He is now entering into the workforce.
“I have been hired at Covenant Health System as a Security Officer. I look forward to enjoying life and everything that comes with that. I have put my faith in God to guide me in my future and will look forward to the opportunities that come my way,” he said.