The news, while not shocking, still hurt.
High school sports are over for the 2019-2020 scholastic year. No track meets, no baseball games, no softball, tennis, lacrosse or volleyball. Just empty ball fields and stadiums, broken hearts and shattered dreams.
It’s difficult teaching young people to cope with adversity. And, as has been stated before, they are handling it better than most would or should expect.
Trina Barcarola dreamed of her senior year. She already established herself as one of the best athletes in the state and earned a scholarship to the University of Virginia. But, competing in a final season is always something a little bit more special. She planned to challenge some of the best times and performances in the history of the Lackawanna Track Conference. And after winning two PIAA gold medals in 2019, a repeat served as her main motivation in a quest to be the best of all-time.
That won’t happen for the reigning Times-Tribune Female Athlete of the Year.
Through the first announcement of activities and events being postponed, Barcarola maintained a positive attitude. She stayed in shape, kept focused and never gave up hope. Please read her first three journal entries into this diary. There is really true feeling and raw emotion in her words.
On Thursday, just before Easter Weekend, Gov. Tom Wolf announced schools needed to stay closed for the remainder of the school year. That put an end to PIAA sports, as well.
It took a couple of days for Barcarola to collect her thoughts. She spent time reflecting on a spectacular career, then enjoyed Easter the best she could with her immediate family.
Today, is her final entry.
We thank her for sharing her time, her story and her high school sports career with us. It’s been an honor.
Good luck at Virginia.
This season of my life will still be one to remember.
Upon receiving notice that I will never set foot on the Western Wayne track performing as a Wildcat again is an example of why to never take a day, minute, or even a second for granted. I feel many strong yet incomprehensible emotions that I cannot fully grasp. Shortly after learning of this devastating news, I received a message from a teammate that had a profoundly humbling effect on me. Rather than focusing on the things that have been taken away this year, I can now focus on the beautiful symbiotic relationships that formed between myself and my teammates.
“Track will not be the same without you. Thank you for showing me what it means to have hard work and dedication to a sport. You have definitely showed to be the perfect example of this, and I could not be more thankful to have trained and competed with you. I cannot wait to see what your future holds. I hope the track team will continue it’s success from the path you’ve paved for us. Thank you for taking me under your wing and pushing me even when I did not want to. You have helped me attain much of my own success. Words cannot describe the feeling of how satisfying it is to see the hard work pay off. I appreciate everything you have done, even if I haven’t shown it. I would love to run one more meet with you. Love you Trina.”
“This makes me cry. I appreciate this so much, you have no idea. I am so thankful for all the time we were able to spend together through this sport. I’ve learned so much about you. You are contagiously joyful and have a fire for competition that burns inside of you. Never let that fire go out. There are always times when we take this inherent desire to compete for granted, but we have to remember it is a special gift. Many people are not able to channel the anxious feelings or pressures into a spirit of vigorous pursuit: going after the goals we ought to chase after. I see this in you and know that with this, you can inspire our team to do great things. Thank you my girl for everything. For teaching me how to be a leader, a teammate, a friend, and most importantly, how to run one heck of a fourth leg. I’ll always be thinking and praying for you. Keep offering up every hill workout for famous coach Amos.”
To my coaches, teammates, family, friends and school, may you know my gratitude for everything I have been given.
Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.
— Trina Barcarola, Western Wayne class of 2020
Joby Fawcett has covered high school sports — including football, girls and boys volleyball, girls and boys tennis, girls and boys swimming, boys basketball, girls and boys track and field, and girls and boys lacrosse — for 22 years. The High School Sports Blog offers deeper insights plus statistical and historical information for fans and features photos, videos and graphics along with Top 5 polls for tennis and volleyball. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5367; @sportsTT