Star 'Cats season cut short

Kansas State senior Peyton Williams hugs freshmen Ayoka Lee after learning the basketball...
Kansas State senior Peyton Williams hugs freshmen Ayoka Lee after learning the basketball season was canceled.(WIBW)
Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 10:55 PM CDT
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One moment, everything was normal.

"A week ago today we just beat Kansas." Kansas State forward Peyton Williams said.

Senior Peyton WIlliams played her last game at bramlage coliseum.

"It was senior senior night, so it was a lot of emotions for everybody and I think a lot of positive emotions going into the big 12 tournament." Williams said.

It's a situation Williams never thought in a million years she'd be faced with.

"No, definitely not." Williams said. "Definitely not."

Kansas State was preparing to play Iowa State in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament.

"The NCAA was limiting attendance and they're just kind of getting progressively more and more serious" Williams said.

Then, sports as a whole slowly start to go away.

"That was when we heard those other tournaments were canceling," Williams said. "It won't happen to the Big 12. Like, we're in the Midwest. It's not really happening here. The Coronavirus isn't really happening here. But, then it became more of a reality and then to the point where it actually became a reality."

And it was at a practice when Williams and the other seniors learned their careers had been cut a game short.

"Coach brought us all into the huddle," Williams said. "Our Athletic Director - Gene Taylor - was there and once we saw him, everyone was like, 'Oh no. It's canceled.' It was tough because you have people who worked really hard for something they never got a chance to even try for."

The team grieved what they lost together.

"We had lunch together before we left to go back to Manhattan." Williams said. "This is really a bummer for our seniors and let's realize that. But then we also had that step of saying, you know what, we're doing this so that we're protecting not just ourselves but other people in the area. And if that has to happen, that has to happen that way.

Despite the abnormal conclusion, Peyton will always have fond memories of her time dawning the Powercat logo.

"Obviously I'm sad that I didn't get to have like a one last hurrah with my team that I love so much." Williams said. But at the same time it's just I'm grateful for the moments you do have. I think we have a lot of reminders of that, but I think this is just another reminder that nothing is for certain. And so just cherish everything that you have."