Independence has come close to the state tournament the last two years. Helping lead the charge has been senior David Wilson.
The third baseman who has seen time at pitcher and catcher was hoping this would be the year a loaded Patriots team would break through and return to Charleston.
Unfortunately for Wilson and Co., because of COVID-19 that opportunity won't come.
Last month the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission canceled all spring sports after Gov. Jim Justice announced the closure of schools for the remainder of the school year.
"It was hard, losing your senior season," Wilson said. "I'm lucky though, because I was able to sign and play college ball, so at least I have another chance at playing, which I've been holding on to."
Though there was a month between activities being postponed indefinitely and officially canceled, Wilson immediately struggled to accept what was happening as the reality of losing his senior season set in.
"It really set in hard when they canceled our spring break beach trip," Wilson said. "From that point right there I knew it was going downhill, so I got a head start on grieving it."
With all the negative occurrences over the last few months, Wilson has been clinging to the positives.
"I keep thinking about how I'll get the chance to play at Bluefield State," Wilson said. "This isn't the end for me. There are a lot of seniors that didn't get the chance to get looked at this year and I feel for them. This was their last shot, but I was able to get a heads up on the recruiting process. Having next year guaranteed has helped a lot and has played a big role in me not stressing out as much."
Though his high school baseball career has come to a close, Wilson won't be off the diamond for too long. In his free time he volunteers in the community, helping coach youth league in the area.
"I like the game and helping kids where I can," Wilson said. "I like kids and I want to teach them the right way to play and keep their head leveled and not get stressed out when things go your way, something I've really learned. You've just got to do your best and that's the best you can do. I'm going to college to be a teacher so I just like helping the younger kids.
"A lot of people helped me to get me to the point I'm at so I like to give."
Giving back is something Wilson will be able to do sooner rather than later. Earlier this week, Justice gave youth sports the green light to resume activities in the coming weeks and Wilson anticipates being right back out there.
"I've been talking to a couple guys about letting me come coach and showing the kids some things," Wilson said. "That's just one thing I like to do, I like to help with them. I think through all this what I've learned is to be patient and that's something I want to pass along. You've just got to be patient and your time will come. Sometimes you've got to go through hard times to get to the good times, so you've just got to be patient and not stress out and that will help you in life in general."
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