MUNFORD, Tenn. — “For the love of the game” … a phrase that you’ve probably heard a million times before but for senior Riley Wade, it has a whole new meaning now.
“It’s more than just playing a sport, it’s more about being around the people you love and having a good time. Just living your life to the fullest, doing what you can do while you can do it cause it’s going to come to an end at some point. And for it to come to an end now is just kind of hard,” said Riley Wade.
Like every senior around the country, Riley’s final year of high school softball has been affected by the Coronavirus.
“When we found out we were actually at a tournament, it was right before we were about to play. I was actually outside about to go up to hit. And my mom was like school is out for two weeks, and I was like wow this is really serious we aren’t going to be able to do anything,” said Wade.
The senior season she had been waiting for, postponed after only 1 game in the books.
“It’s just hard cause you don’t know how to handle it cause you are so used to going through the routine of practices and it just stops and you can’t really do any of that now. It’s just weird you can’t do any of that now. And it’s sad seniors that can’t really do that anymore unless they are playing in college but some of them it’s not the same,” said Wade.
For Riley her love of softball is a love worth fighting for. 2-3 times a week she comes to this softball complex by her house to practice any way she can.
“Sometimes we don’t even have to step on the field, we’ll just go in the batting cages, take some cuts, swing off the tee, or throw. Do whatever just in case we do get a chance to step back on the field,” said Wade.
Just a fenced batting cage, 2 players, a softball and a bat, that’s all it takes to keep her dream alive.
“We hope it doesn’t keep spreading like it is just so we could maybe have a chance to get on the field to practice or anything but we don’t really know what’s going to happen,” said Wade.
“For the love of the game” … a phrase that hits differently for different people, but for Riley it now means, love the game like you’ve lost it, cause unfortunately for the time being, she has.
“Don’t take anything for granted, play your heart out because it could be the end in a second like the time my mom told me that night. That was my last game that night. You have to play like you’re not going to play again and don’t take time for granted,” said Wade.