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Seaman girls return to state after COVID-19 cut short last season

Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 11:53 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Lady Vikings are back where they were a year ago.

“I was just so happy for everyone that we get the chance to go back.” Riley Cowan, Seaman senior, said.

Competing for a state title.

“We worked super hard and did have a lot of difficulties throughout the year.” Jahnasia Anderson, Seaman senior, said.

This year’s opportunity is made more important, knowing firsthand how easily that chance can disappear.

“Just like every time we think about it, it’s pretty upsetting,” Cowan said. “Every single day. We just like take the opportunity to play basketball because you never know when like your last day could be.”

Seamen was one of the final teams still playing when the state tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.

“It’s hard to believe that a year has went by already.” Matt Tinsley, Lady Vikings basketball coach, said.

After the game, Coach Tinsley had the heartbreaking task to tell his team the season was over.

“I found out at halftime of the game that the tournament was going to be canceled.” Coach Tinsley said.

“We went in for halftime,” Cowan said. “When we came back out, it was kind of dead.”

“Made the decision not to tell them we wanted to finish on a good note.” Coach Tinsley said.

“Like being serious. And he started like getting really emotional all of us. Like we’re looking at each other and we were like, what’s going on? Cause we really had no idea that that was going to happen when they came.

“That was by far the hardest thing as a coach that I had to do.” Coach Tinsley said.

As this year began a new, there were more obstacles to come. The team spent 24 days this year in quarantine.

“And then one person got it,” Cowan said. “And then that was 10 days of quarantine. And then next person, and then I got,”

“Life gives you chances,” Coach Tinsley said. “You can run from it. And in these pressure situations, the girls realize how they had to lean on each other.”

But the Lady Vikings pushed through the adversity and are more appreciative because of the journey.

”Just being able to relive it this year,” Anderson said. “And coming back to state is just really important to us and meaningful, especially as the seniors. But I know our underclassmen are really happy to be there with us too.”

The Seamen girls will tip off and the 5A girls state quarterfinals Monday, March 8th at 6:00 PM against Salina Central at White Auditorium in Emporia.

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