GLEN RIDGE, NJ--
Those are just some of the words the Glen Ridge High girls' lacrosse team came up with to discuss its 2020 season, as the team was forced to distance itself, because of the coronavirus.
On May 4, it was officially announced that the spring athletic season, for New Jersey athletics, would be canceled, after weeks of hope that perhaps the teams could get back and play, at least for a few weeks.
And despite the huge disappointment, the Ridgers had put together a video, earlier this spring, showing their grit and determination.
"Every year, we do something like this, but it's not a video," said Glen Ridge head coach Beth Larkin. "This year, of course, we had to go the video route because we couldn't practice together. We always want the upperclassmen to take the role of leaders and the younger kids to learn what it takes to be leaders."
Each player on the team held a card with an inspirational word, and many of the players spoke of their hope and desire. The players spoke of what it takes to work hard, consistently, every day.
These are more words to speak of what the players were feeling, about the pandemic.
"These kids really are amazing," said Larkin. "When practice began (on March 6), we were really optimistic. We were going after another (Essex County Tournament) championship, everyone was in good shape, spirits were up and practices were crisp. Who would have thought that March 13 would have been the end of not only the season, but high school, in essence, for the seniors?"
Glen Ridge senior captains Sarah Looney, Madison Grady, Campbell Moriarty and Gretchen Gilmore took a leading role in putting the video together. While the coach felt very badly for the seniors, she also noted that the entire program suffers from no season in 2020.
"You look at the freshmen, and realize this was the year for them to learn the ropes, and they've missed out," said Larkin. "I feel badly for them."
All four senior captains will play lacrosse in college, with Gilmore off to Penn State, Grady to attend Rutgers, Looney to play at Stanford and Moriarty attending Amherst College.
"They're all tremendous student-athletes, who will attend big-time schools," said Larkin. "They've been leading virtual (on line) practices and keeping a positive approach, which helps all our kids."
Sydney Lance and Samantha Lovit are also seniors on the 2020 roster while the juniors are Cooper Palm, Izzy Deubner, Josie Lang, Cecile Keavey, Stella Lodewick, Maci Fazekas and Grace O'Keefe. Leading the sophomores are Hana Yang, Olivia Corradi, Blake Velardi, Franny Tedesco, Defne Zeybek, Kayla Garske, Lily Kuhn and Kelly Egan.
The junior varsity players are Natalie Blee, Calista Huang, Laura Reynolds, Hayley Foster, Hallie Galbraith, Amalia Sanchez. Sydney McCann, Madeline Rodriguez, Abby Carlucci, Mikayla Grandison, Alex Wecler, Ava Walton, Kaitlin Leas, Avery Gilbert, Lucie Glover, Yasmin Ayan, Avery Brown, Eliana Amici, Emily Runnions, Hannah Sebastiano, Maeve O'Keefe and Jillian Parker.
One young lady, Sydney Lance, held up a sign which read 'First'.
Why? Because her own personal goal was to start her first varsity game, in her senior year, with a goal to help this year's class make its own mark.
"That crushes me," said Larkin, about Lance. "She's been our back up goalie and is such a wonderful young woman. She'll be attending Syracuse University this fall. And Samantha Lovit will be going to Tulane University.
"I know these seniors will be going on to do good things, and I'm so excited for them, but this was a difficult day, when our team found out the season was over."
The video ends with 'We Will Get Through This Together. Love, Glen Ridge Girls Lacrosse.'
An amazing video by a group of players who, unfortunately, won't get the chance to play this spring, but will use this experience to become even stronger in the months and years to come.