Claire Bower's dream is on hold.
The Grandview Heights softball player had been anticipating her senior season for some time, but the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has spring sports delayed until at least Monday, April 6, if not longer.
On March 13, the OHSAA announced a mandatory "no-contact period" for all school-sponsored sports from March 17 through April 5. The remaining winter tournaments -- for boys basketball, girls basketball, hockey and wrestling -- were canceled March 26.
Update: Gov. Mike DeWine announced March 30 that schools will remain closed through May 1.
"When you're a freshman, all you can think about is being your best in your senior year," Bower said. "Now we're here, and it's not how anyone would want it."
Hoping the spring season gets underway this month, Grandview athletes have been working to stay in shape.
Rather than send workouts home with her athletes, boys tennis coach Kathy Kinnard said an athletic trainer from Nationwide Children's Hospital has been providing sample workouts during the no-contact period.
Kirk Sabalka has provided home workouts that include warm-ups (such as jumping jacks), mobility, jump training and speed work.
"I have not given them anything, but (Sabalka's) workouts help with their strength and condition if they want to do that," Kinnard said. "They get new information and workouts pretty much daily. That should help them."
One of the speed drills has the athletes running eight 40-yard dashes, or "the length of four houses," as it's described.
"We're not allowed to have practice or anything until at least Monday, April 6, but they have a trainer sending out workouts to the general student body on things they can do from home," baseball coach Tyler Fitzgerald said. "They involve strength and resistance training. Right now everything is in limbo for us."
Joey Bertani was especially excited for his senior season after leading the Bobcats in batting average (.511), home runs (3), RBI (44), doubles (10) and slugging percentage (.739) as a junior.
"I have been doing some baseball stuff on my own and doing the workouts that the school gave us," said Bertani, an Ashland recruit. "It's a tough time right now, but I want to be using my resources to get in reps and stay ready if we go back. Anything can happen."
Bower played first base and pitched last season but expected to play more in the outfield this spring. Her focus has included workouts to help ease the switch of positions.
"I have been doing some agility work, setting up cones to run around and I have been catching fly balls," she said. "Agility is a big thing when you're in the outfield.
"I just try to stay busy and stay positive. We have to stay positive and have the best season we can. The OHSAA says they have a plan for if we go back April 6, so hopefully we go back then and have a season."
Chris Miller is doing exactly what he would have done without the layoff. The senior distance runner is putting in miles and holding out hope that the track and field season is only on hold.
"Coach (Brian Schoch) sent us out some workouts like a lot of long distance stuff, but also some sprinting because you still need to have sprint speed at the finish," Miller said. "Some of the workouts are really tough to do and it makes it even harder to do by myself."
Miller finished seventh in the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 26.06 seconds) in the Division III state meet last spring. He also was a member of the fifth-place 1,600 relay (program-record 3:25.75) with seniors Jack Kessler and Luke Lachey and junior Derek Amicon.
"Coach says to keep acting like the season will happen. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't," Miller said. "(Canceling the season) won't be fun, especially since I'm a senior. I'm optimistic, but you just don't know.
"I've been through a lot (with injuries) over the past couple years, but it's all been worth it. I wish we would get to have another season. We have a lot of seniors back from last year and we expected to have a really good season."
Fitzgerald was excited about what he saw from the baseball team before practices ended March 13.
"I look at our potential as being similar to the boys basketball team (this winter)," he said. "We were to play in Division IV and had a good core of athletes back. It could be something special.
"Hopefully we'll play some version of baseball, even if it runs into the summer. The boys would tell you that the first thing that they want to do is play. The decision is out of our hands. Health and safety is more important than baseball, so I can see where (the decision-makers) are coming from."
The boys basketball team reached a Division IV regional final before the rest of the postseason was canceled.
Softball coach Tori Lynch would hate to see the season get canceled, especially for a group of seniors that she has coached since the players were in the seventh grade.
"Ugh, I don't even want to think about (canceling the season)," she said. "The girls were in tears when I told them the season was delayed for three weeks, so that would be tough.
"I have coached them since they were in the seventh grade. I kept telling them that they had a ton of talent as a class and they should wait to see how good they would be as seniors. Now this happens."