Lena-Winslow athletes rolling with the punches

Senior Daughenbaugh holding out hope for basketball season
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 10:25 PM CST
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LENA, Ill. (WIFR) - The life of a high school student athlete is a challenging one at the moment.

One day you can be told one thing and the next can be completely different, but no matter what the future may hold for these kids, the only thing they can do is prepare as if they will get to play.

“We have hope and now we have something to look forward to,” said senior Alex Daughenbaugh.

The hope is there. At least, it was after the Lena-Winslow school board gave Panthers basketball the go-ahead.

Now the IHSA is telling players like Daughenbaugh to take a step back.

“I’m a senior and might not be able to play again so you just really hope that you can," Daughenbaugh said. "All of the time and effort you’ve put into the sports that you play, it all goes away and you might not get it back.”

Le-Win was all set to return to normal practices on Monday, but the IHSA telling the team that there will be no contact and to follow the guidelines laid out by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Head coach Kyle Benson says it’s difficult having to constantly change plans on his players.

“I think you just tell the kids to expect the unexpected and nothing is promised," said Benson. "If we get to practice one day, I think we have to treat that practice like it’s the only practice because you don’t know. Moving forward, I think we just have to take to heart the fact that if we get one more day together that’s a bonus.”

For a team that is fresh off its third regional title in 30 years, the Panthers are eager to get back onto the court.

If they do, Daughenbaugh has high hopes.

“If it was a normal season, I think we would do just as good if not better than last year," said Daughenbaugh. "But with what’s going on now, we’re going to take it one day at a time and if we can play, we can play. That’s what we’re praying for.”

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