HUNTINGTON — Baylee Adkins was an easy pick for The Herald-Dispatch girls basketball player of the year.
Not that the rest of our All Tri-State team didn’t feature terrific players, but Adkins overcame so much in the last year that for her to play at the level she did was beyond impressive.
Adkins’ 10.3 points might not be particularly eye catching, but she was the floor leader on a team with five stars. Add in 50 percent shooting, 75 percent free throw shooting, 4.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 4.3 steals per game playing a national-level schedule and Adkins’ value is easy to see. Her game, however, is more than can be measured by mere numbers.
Adkins played through injuries all season, with a particularly balky knee hindering her. When she went down after crashing into the wall on a hustle play vs. Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame in the Tackett’s Body Shop Shootout in Ironton, the crowd gasped, then fell silent. Coaches carried Adkins from the floor and the situation didn’t look good. Adkins, though, came back later in the game and played well.
The standout 5-foot-7 point guard and University of Dayton signee has overcome more than just a sore knee. Adkins beloved dad, Mike, died on May 7. He was 42 and Bailee’s biggest fan. The upheaval was tremendous. Bailee changed her college commitment from DePaul to Dayton to be closer to home. She played a trying season without her dad in the stands.
Adkins was an easy choice for our sports staff, but not out of sympathy. She earned it.
VIRUS FALLOUT: Some high school seniors are experiencing a double gut punch thanks to COVID-19.
Student-athletes in 12th grade not only are missing most, if not all, of their final season, those with college potential could be losing scholarship opportunities.
Spencer Harris, a high jumper/long jumper from Fairland, has drawn considerable college interest. Undoubtedly, he will wind up somewhere. The University of Akron has recruited Harris and suggested that if he consistently high jumps in the 6-4 to 6-6 range this spring, it would offer him a scholarship. If track season doesn’t resume, and that’s a distinct possibility, Harris likely won’t have a chance to prove himself.
With workouts limited, even staying sharp will be a challenge, not that college coaches could see Harris anyway, as all in-person recruiting is banned by the NCAA until further notice.
Many other track and field athletes, baseball and softball players are in similar predicaments.
The lack of certainty is difficult, too, for college coaches, who more greatly than normal weigh the risk of offering an athlete a scholarship against that of possibly missing out on someone who could be a key performer for his program.
RECRUITING ROUNDUP: Huntington High boys basketball star Torin Lochow committed to Marietta College. Belfry safety Brett Coleman committed to Miami (Ohio). Chapmanville guard Andrew Shull re-opened his recruitment Thursday. Shull had committed to Wingate.
NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES: The Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division has set kickoff times for 2020 football games at 7 p.m. Lucasville Valley girls basketball coach Mark Merritt retired. Mollie King is the new girls soccer coach at Northwest High School.