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For high-school senior athletes, the spring of 2020 was the absolute worst of times. Seasons abruptly canceled, dreams crushed, a permanent cloud of what-might-have-been hanging over their heads for the rest of their lives. They certainly got the worst of it, but for those who followed behind, it has been no picnic. The 2020-21 school year was one of starts and stops, of distance learning and rules being made up on the fly.

For athletes, it was better than nothing, but sometimes only slightly so. Weird, compartmentalized practices, truncated seasons, and playoff hopes dashed by test results, sometimes on the morning of the game. 

This year, it’s better, if only incrementally so. For Trinitee Ash, it’s good enough so far. (Yes, her name is Trinitee, which, among other things means that when she goes to Disneyland or the Grand Canyon, she’ll never be able to find a keychain with her name on it.)

A right-side hitter on the Marana varsity volleyball team, Trinitee is thankful for what she has. Her sophomore season of track and field was canceled, which was a drag, but she also realized that the seniors that year would be losing something that they would never get back. 

“I’m pretty happy now,” she says. Her team mostly got through its season last year, but “we were good enough to make it to the playoffs, but (COVID testing) ended our season.”

This year, despite a brutal five-set loss to Empire in the season opener, Trinitee is highly optimistic about her team’s prospects. “We have players this year who are more athletic than last year’s team. And we have more of them. We have a lot of good players.”

Are you one of them? Are you good?

Long pause, then, “Am I good? I mean, YEAH!”

In the spring, she is a member of the track team, running the 100- and 200-meter dashes. When asked whether she has ever run the 400 meters (which was probably the Marquis de Sade’s favorite race), she says, “I have run it, but let’s just say that it’s not my

favorite.”

It’s actually nobody’s

favorite.

After graduation, she plans on attending Pima College to start her formal education on the way to becoming a registered nurse. Right now, she’s a good student with a good GPA and a great attitude. Plus, she had the right answer when asked, “What is your favorite subject?”

Without hesitation, she replied “Math.”

(That’s the right answer, even for people for whom it isn’t. People who don’t like math will hesitate when that question is posed. Mathletes will answer immediately.)

Things are going pretty well for Trinitee and her teammates, but the specter of COVID still hangs over things. Anxious to get back at it after the loss to Empire, the Tigers’ game against Amphi had to be moved to later in the season due to some COVID-related issues in the Panther program.

Still, she’s grateful to even have a season. “I want it to be great!”

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