J.P. Starkey, a multi-sporter and champion for the Mustangs, writes about lost opportunities, including back-to-back seasons in lacrosse and his turn as a mentor. But in the latest edition of Mullen Today’s UnOrdinary Times, the senior instead chooses to center on his entire four-year experience, including his first day at Mullen, schoolmate and teammate bonds, winning in doubles tennis and looking forward in 2020 with 20/20 vision.
With chaos comes opportunity. Unfortunately for my senior classmates, our opportunities will no longer be in the halls or on the fields at Mullen. The coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed everything around the traditions we have all been looking forward to since we walked down the red carpet on the first day of our freshman year. Although we will not be able to experience many of these moments together, we can remember the good ones we had throughout the past four years.
I had hoped to finish strong in my final lacrosse season at Mullen after losing my junior year due to injuries. Our first test of who we would be and the legacy that we, as seniors, would leave behind was going to come on March 13. But on the day before our first game of our final year everything shut down. The experiences that we would have for our last spring season would be very different from what we thought it would be -- in one week the off-season became our last time wearing the blue and gold, our spring break lacrosse trip was gone as was so much of everything else. These last few weeks have brought me more time being outside than I would have expected. From trying to stay active by taking my dog on walks, to mountain biking, to back-country skiing on top of Vail Pass, my time outdoors has helped to pass the time. These activities have allowed me to take my mind off what should have been happening.
However, the good memories come back from the last four years. Beginning with a big match victory with Tanner Amman that actually occurred during the homecoming rally our freshman year to ending with a Colorado championship (at No. 1 singles) in our last time playing high-school tennis, we created some great memories. As a wide-eyed freshman, lacrosse provided me a starting position on varsity, a spring-break trip to California and guidance from seniors I’d hoped to pass along to underclassman this season. I’m left with the memories of hundreds of days walking the halls, lunches in Mrs. Wakamoto’s class and Sundays for Mr. Denezza (a T-shirt reference from years past). These images are burned into my mind along with a legacy that is incomplete.
Our memories of the good times at Mullen cannot be forgotten and although we’re sad to see it go this way, these strange times will be another memory as we look toward our futures with 20/20 vision.