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Myers Park coach, student-athlete sound off on CMS decision to pause athletic activity

Updated: Jan. 14, 2021 at 11:11 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Myers Park Mustangs men’s basketball team played their first game of the 2020-2021 season Wednesday night. It now appears it may end up being one of the team’s only games this season.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education voted Thursday to keep all learning virtual until at least February 12. The district also announced that all athletic activity would be paused until at least February 15.

Myers Park student-athlete Riley Dougherty and his teammates on the basketball team found out about halt to the season Thursday afternoon, less than a day after their first game.

“You don’t really realize how much you miss it until you’re finally like doing it and on the bus and with the team. It’s just so much fun and it stinks that we got just a tiny glimpse of what that felt like and then it was all taken away the next day,” said Dougherty.

He said he and his teammates have gotten used to disappointment this year. Much of Dougherty’s high school career has been altered by the pandemic.

“I was thinking the other day, I’m going to be in high school for two and a half years and that’s it. I’m going to miss half my junior year and my full senior year,” explained the student-athlete.

Scott Taylor, the men’s basketball coach at Myers Park, said it was difficult to tell his team that the season was being paused. He said his players are growing accustomed to feeling let down.

“It’s a little hard to stomach that it doesn’t feel like – and I say that understanding there’s a gravity to it – doesn’t feel like we’re being given a chance,” said Taylor.

The coach said he thinks his team can still safely play games. He is encouraging his student-athletes to remain optimistic.

“Late last night we were down 10 in the fourth quarter and somehow we ended up in double overtime, so I told them, ‘let’s look at it that way and somehow maybe this thing gets extended, somehow we work ourselves into another chance and we take that opportunity if we’re given it’,” said Taylor.

Dougherty said he’s hesitant to believe school sports and in-person learning will resume in February.

“At this point it’s like, they say we’re going back in February, but do I really want to believe that just to be let down again?” questioned the student-athlete.

The Myers Park men’s basketball team would only have two games remaining in the season if athletics don’t resume until February 15.

CMS is allowing high school teams that are currently in the state playoffs, volleyball and cross-country, to complete playoff competition. However, those teams are no longer allowed to practice, only compete in playoff competition.

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