Jasey Allen: A heartbroken member of the Class of 2020

By Chad Hobbs

 For Meade County Ladywave Jasey Allen, this should be the middle of the softball season. This was supposed to be that special year every high school athlete looks forward to. This was supposed to be that walk off home run chapter every ball player dreams of. This was supposed to be the season that ended on U of L’s softball field. The team was supposed to have gone to Gulf Shores on spring break to play. Then, coronavirus struck, and just like a sandcastle at high tide, the season was washed away before it ever really got started. This is not what her senior season was supposed to look like.  After winning back to back district titles, Jasey hoped this would be the year they went even further. “I just wanted to win district and say we did it three years in a row,” Allen said. “One of my biggest goals for the team was for us to at least make it past the first round of regionals after losing in the first round the past two years,” Allen said.  Meade County beat Oldham County, the preseason fifth ranked team in the state, by a score of 3-2 in their first scrimmage this year, and things were looking pretty optimistic for Allen and her team. Little did she know that would be the last time she would lace her cleats up as a Ladywave ever again.  “Just to politely say it, it sucks,” Allen stated. “It’s been hard. There have been nights I’ve just cried because I just want to go and play again…play one last time with the girls I’ve been friends with my whole life.”  Allen started playing t-ball at the age of four at Flaherty Community Park with the support of her parents, Jason and Allison, all along the way. Jason coached her up until she made the high school team. Allen couldn’t help but smile as she talked about how supportive they have been of her career, taking her to lessons, camps and working with her in the netted cage that fills one side of the Allen’s garage at their home.  “It’s my life,” Allen responded when asked what softball means to her. “I’ve done it my whole life, I fell in love with it, and I just don’t want to quit playing yet. It’s part of who I am.”  Her parents are feeling the pain of the loss of her senior year as well, often fighting back emotions as they speak of the whole experience. All the time, hard work, money, blood, sweat and tears that were sacrificed building up to this very moment, but in a blink of an eye, that senior season was gone.  “If your kid has a problem or is hurt, you do whatever you can to help them but with this, you can’t do anything,” Jason said. “All of us, our life for the last ten years plus is ball. That’s it. It’s been pretty rough.”  “It’s heartbreaking. All the hours, this was her year and you feel robbed,” Allison added. “There’s no do over, there’s no rewind. You don’t get to do it again.”  Jason has served as the softball team’s booster club president for most of Jasey’s high school career and Allison has handled senior nights, and it was going to be her turn to enjoy as a parent this year. Jasey also talked about how much she was looking forward to the night when the crowd is a little bigger, the students back their trucks up to the outfield fence and cheer, and she would get called out onto the field with her parents one last time in celebration of her career at Meade County coming to an end.  “I’ve worked so hard for five years, and I’ve watched so many other girls go through,” Allen sadly explains. “They all got their night,but I won’t ever get that.”  Jasey’s younger sister, Addi, had made the team this year as a seventh grader just as her older sister had done. This would not only have been a special year for the Allen’s having both daughters on the same team for the season, but Jasey is a pitcher and Addi is a catcher. They hoped to talk Coach Reece into allowing Addi to catch her big sister for one batter on senior night, something Jason says he had been pondering on for two or three years. Just like prom, senior skip day, the senior prank, walking off that field for the last time on senior night, the regional FFA competitions she had been practicing for since before Christmas, walking out of school for the last time, or walking across the stage to get her diploma, so much has been lost that this senior and her family will never be able to experience.  “You have to think, well at least she is going to graduate, at least she has her life, at least we are all healthy,” Allison tries to rationalize. “I feel like sometimes it’s selfish of me, but it’s heartbreaking all those things we are going to miss out on.”  The silver lining for Allen is that unlike many seniors who need that last season to catch the eyes of college recruiters, Brescia University in Owensboro liked what they saw in her without needing her final season. Allen wants to be a special education teacher, and Brescia is renowned for its special education program. The one thing that did come together for this senior is that softball and her dream major will be waiting for her this fall at college.  “I want to move back to Meade County and hopefully teach in one of the schools in special education,” Allen says of her future goals. “If I teach high school kids, I would love to start an ag program just for those students. It could teach them skills like how to plant flowers, how to plant a garden, how to take care of their pet; just different life skills for them that they could actually use in their lives later on.” She mothered over a classmate with cerebral palsy in preschool, learned how to sign in elementary school so she could talk to a classmate who was deaf, and spent two periods working with special needs students this year at the high school, going to job sites around the community to help them work. “That’s just who she is,” Allison replied. “Special ed and special needs is her calling. That’s what she was made for.”

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