Marya Burke, Lizzie Rosas, Julia Stokes, Jennifer Chandler and Jillian Bridges cheer for the Mustangs.
Marya Burke, Lizzie Rosas, Julia Stokes, Jennifer Chandler and Jillian Bridges cheer for the Mustangs.
The spring season came to a sudden halt when the NIAA announced no more games. 

The Mustangs had time to squeeze in one last weekend of softball, baseball and track. Then it was over — for how long is anyone’s guess.

More upheaval followed. On Sunday, Mar. 15, the governor closed all K-12 schools in Nevada, to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. 

Fragile support systems crumbled. In a flash, life handed the kids a new game plan, diametrically opposed to their old one. Welcome to the spring of social distancing. Later, Governor Sisolak extended the shutdown to at least April 16.

Senior cheerleaders Lizzie Rosas and Jennifer Chandler hope for one more chance to entertain at half time. 

“This is definitely not how I pictured my senior year,” said Rosas. “We waited for our turn. Now it’s here, but being taken away. I’m heartbroken.”

The Winter Guard progressed from half tosses to helicopter tosses over several months.

They planned to compete against a dozen other schools in Reno in mid-April. 

Now, seniors Ana Paredes, Haylie Leavitt, Jessica Martin and Gabby Beltran may not have that opportunity.

 Last year at this time, the Pershing County track team was gearing up for the state championships. PCHS alum Faith Happy (Class of 2019) and Presley Burrows medaled for the Mustangs. 

This year looks much different. Just weeks ago, Dalton McNeff was running the 4x200 with JC Astle, Victor Flores and Zeke Jackson. Now he’s trying to make the best of the shutdown.

“I’m working around the farm, helping my parents and making the most of my time at home,” he said. “I just feel like I’ve got so much time on my hands. It’s kind of weird. It’s been tough not being able to spend time with my friends, especially Cheyeanne.”

The baseball and softball teams hosted Eli before the shutdown went into effect. Each pitch, catch and throw represented the culmination of months of practice.

Younger athletes also find their lives upended. Lovelock Elementary School’s Whitlee and Colton Diaz are used to a lot of activities. Both consider the Lovelock Swim Team a highpoint of their summer. Colton also plays baseball and football. 

Whitlee misses her teachers and P.E., where she played soccer, kickball, football and dodgeball. Now she and Colton stay home, doing their part to keep everyone safe.

“We do our packets and learning games and I’m not bored,” said Colton.

Athletic director Mike Brooks has a message for all of Pershing County’s student-athletes. 

“As of right now, we don’t know what the future holds,” he said. “Especially for the seniors, we hope we can salvage some of the season so you can finish your careers the right way.”

The NIAA reached out to Brooks and other AD’s to discuss the possibility of a shortened season beginning in late April or early May.

“As difficult as it is, find ways to be active and productive and stay in some sort of sports shape while practicing social distancing,” he advised.