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Families voice frustration after the postponement of winter sports

Season pushed back to at least Feb. 21
Winter sports get started in the state of Michigan
Families voice frustration after winter sports postponed again
Posted at 7:30 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 19:33:56-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Winter sports athletes are feeling heartbroken once again after their seasons were once again pushed back.

The parents, athletes and coaches are doing all they can to create change and move the season forward.

Winter sports families frustrated by postponement

“We go to practice every day and work hard, not knowing what’s going to happen,” said Hopkins girls basketball player, Mady Weber.

For Mady’s older brother, Colin, his senior basketball season is something he’s looked forward to for years.

“This is my last year, so it’s never something you want to hear, it’s just a gut-punch, really,” Colin added.

Five families, all from West Michigan, sat down to talk about the frustration of winter sports being postponed yet again.

"You're kind of on a yo-yo here," said Jeff Weber, father of Mady and Colin, "we're back and forth, up and down, it's tough as a parent to keep the kids focused."

Cam Bormes, a hockey captain at Northview says it was another big letdown for him and his teammates.

"We were finally looking forward to something," Bormes said, "we had our first game up on our board and we were getting excited to play our first game. All of the sudden, not being able to play anymore, it just stinks a lot."

As for their best hopes for the winter sports season, the parents say they just want the games to be played, whether they're in the stands or not.

"The ultimate goal is to watch them and have it be normal, but we don't expect it to be right now," said Amy Barry, a mother of Caledonia girls basketball player Brinlee Barry. "We'll take any victory, even if it's something, a shortened season, just the kids, watching it over live feed."

For parents with senior athletes like the Weber family of Hopkins, it's a crushing blow.

"We have dreamed about his senior year and our kids playing together and now, to not get that, it's heartbreaking," added Jill Weber.

And the mental aspect is a big key for several parents as well.

"It's important to understand the mental health of winter athletes," said Cam's father, Kevin Bormes.

Meanwhile, for Kim Triemstra of Lawton, watching her son Connor's freshman basketball season get pushed back is tough.

"As a parent, you take on their frustration, their heartache, their sorrows about it all, we just want them to play," Triemstra said.

And Cristy Simon of Wyoming has three winter sport athletes including an eighth grader, a sophomore and a senior.

"It's been very disappointing," Simon said, "my eighth grader had his season start then they had to stop, the stop and go is hard on them. The most frustrating part is I can't tell them an answer, I don't know when they'll play again or if they're going to play again."

Michigan remains on an island as the state of Illinois gets set to begin their basketball seasons, while Indiana and Ohio have been playing for weeks.

"I know that Colin has a friend that moved to Florida for his senior year and I see on Facebook twice a week that they're playing games with no masks and spectators in the gym, it's frustrating," said Jill Weber.

The helpless feeling for parents, athletes and coaches alike is one of the most frustrating parts of the postponement.

"They wanted the closure and to finish out their seasons and careers, it's a mental thing," Simon added about the senior class.

Parents are hoping to keep their athletes optimistic while also understanding a season is looking more and more unlikely.

"I don't even know what to expect," Amy Barry added, "I'm not getting my hopes up for them regardless. Parents without spectators, just the athletes, I don't know."

"Data shows that the athletes can be safe and still have some contact," Kevin Bormes noted.

For now, the parents, coaches and athletes are hoping they can create change and start a season faster than February 21.