Kaleb Simpson had his senior season with the St. Charles track and field team placed on hold well before the OHSAA announced its mandatory "no-contact period" for all school-sponsored sports March 13.
Simpson injured his right hamstring during the indoor track season, so he has been rehabilitating the injury while schools are closed and spring sports are delayed because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
"It's been ideal for me with the season being postponed because it gives me more time to get my strength up and get to where I need to be," Simpson said. "I have got (platelet-rich plasma) therapy and things have been going well. Hopefully we'll be back soon."
Area athletes in spring sports have needed to find other conditioning and workout routines during the no-contact period with coaches. They are hoping for better fortunes than the winter athletes in boys basketball, girls basketball, hockey and wrestling, as the remainder of their postseason tournaments were officially canceled March 26.
Update: Gov. Mike DeWine announced March 30 that schools will remain closed through May 1.
"Softball is my favorite sport and I was looking forward to playing this spring to improve on the little things in my game," said junior Aly Cox, who starts at catcher for Bexley and also plays basketball and soccer. "We had a lot of potential (in softball) and we still had a long way to go before we were game-ready.
"It would be devastating (if the spring season is canceled), but it also could show us we can't take our sports for granted. They can be taken away so easily."
Simpson was hoping for a stellar track season after breaking out as a junior. He qualified for the Division I state meet in the 100 meters by finishing second (10.89 seconds) at regional, but at state was slowed by a hamstring injury and finished 18th (11.48).
On Jan. 18 in the Jerome Fields Open indoor meet at the University of Akron, Simpson had the top time of 6.99 in the 60 preliminaries but suffered his hamstring injury.
"Every senior wants to have that final season, so it would be heartbreaking (if spring sports are canceled)," said Simpson, who has not made a college selection. "It would be bad for the seniors, but I think it would be worse for juniors. Sure, they have another season, but colleges recruit you from what you did as a junior."
Midfielder Ellen Monahan is awaiting a return to practice with the Columbus School for Girls lacrosse team, but the Boston University signee has been making the most of her training time.
"I have been sticking to my own program and checking with my teammates," she said. "I have been doing wall-ball and passing around with my dad and older brother."
Junior Kami Kortokrax of the Hartley softball team tried to stay in shape by going to a local batting cage, but that didn't last long.
"After a few days, (the batting cage) closed down so I've been hitting buckets with my dad (Hartley boys basketball coach Randy Kortokrax) in batting cages outside where he pitched to me behind a screen," said Kami, an Ohio State recruit. "We throw and he hits me grounders outside. I also lift every single day either in my basement or at the house of a family friend."
Bexley junior Tommy Bloebaum was looking forward to playing baseball after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the fifth game of the football season.
"Our strength and conditioning coach (Jesse Padgett) sent us a PDF of workouts that we can do at home," Bloebaum said. "They are things that I can do in my basement like sit-ups and push-ups and different kinds of stretching. I'm also running because we can't go down to the field."
Reece Yakubov was looking forward to his junior season with the St. Charles tennis team, especially after qualifying for the Division I state tournament in his first two seasons.
"I try to hit outdoors as much as I can, but it's pretty tough," said Yakubov, who also plays golf for the Cardinals. "It's a lot about what we can do on our own. I have been playing basketball with my brother, Evan, and running outside. We're making it work."
CSG track coach Jen Bunker has been keeping her athletes in a positive state of mind.
"I created a new Instagram account for the team and social media has been a great way to stay in touch that wasn't available when I was in high school," said Bunker, who graduated from Bexley in 1991. "You don't have the face-to-face contact so there are digital ways to still stay in touch with your athletes and have that relationship. You have to be cognizant that you don't overdo things, though.
"High school sports are my life; it's what I do. I don't want to pressure a kid to do more. They will do what they can do and I support them in that. But there are a lot of things going on right now that are more important than high school sports. There's a lot to deal with right now."
ThisWeek reporter Jarrod Ulrey contributed to this story.