When speaking with Greenbrier East offensive/defensive lineman JT Spencer early last week, the junior noted all the differences in a Covid-19 season, but was also thankful that his team still got to practice through the week and play on Friday’s.
“It’s all the same except for the part of not having the stands full. We still get to do what we love every day and that’s all you can ask for,” Spencer said with a positive tone.
Well, this interview may have jinxed the Spartan community as word broke late Friday afternoon that East’s November 6 opponent, Lincoln County, had a player test positive for Covid-19 and the game was immediately cancelled. The sad part is it was East’s last regular season game, one they needed and probably would have won to keep their playoff hopes alive.
As of right now, it appears the season may be over for the Spartans.
Fortunately for Spencer, his career is not over. He still has one season to go and attributes his steady improvement to his coaching staff.
“What I have learned these last few years has just been a lot of experience. I’ve started since I was a freshman, and with the help of a great defensive coaching staff it comes easy. I couldn’t ask for a better coaching staff and opportunities to be the best I can be for my team,” Spencer said.
Like all players, schools and teams, the Spartans dealt with the virus and, while they almost made it through unscathed, Spencer said it was still tough to improve and keep your old habits.
“It has been hard to get better at what I do this year with corona. We haven’t been able to work out and get stronger. The only thing we can really do is just work the basics of footsteps and hand placement. But all in all I think I’m just about to the goals I set. This last game should get me over my goals,” Spencer stated.
That “last game,” as mentioned above, did not happen, but defensive coordinator Aaron Baker is thrilled to have Spencer back next year as an integral part of the defense.
“JT is a tough, solid player for us up front on both sides of the ball,” Baker said.
“He works hard in the offseason and it shows in season. We are really excited for him to anchor our defensive front next season. His leadership and experience will be big for us next year,” Baker concluded.
Spencer will look back fondly on his junior season. Though he missed his last game and a chance at the playoffs, he will still have his memories from 2020.
“My best memory is just getting to play with my best friends,enjoying every second of it and leaving it all in the field every week. I can’t ask for much more,” he said.
Spencer was reached for comment late Saturday night about the season concluding after the cancellation of the game Friday and he stated the following:
“Yeah it’s hard to swallow. I really think we could have gone far in the playoffs this year with our talent and experience, but just gotta learn how to accept it and can’t change it. I have one more year so it’s time to get to work.”