Sometimes it best to put things away in file 13 and start all over. That’s the case with Johnson County’s varsity athletics in 2020. Not all was lost, thanks to the girls’ basketball team.They defeated Sullivan East to earn a berth in the regional tournament for the first time in 23 years. But disaster struck when their leading scorer Taylor Cox was diagnosed with Mononucleosis and had to miss the rest of the season. The team went to South Greene and probably played their best game of the season until the end, when a bad shot down the stretch would do them in.
The boys won only four games and lost 25. They were ousted in the first round of the regional by Sullivan East after posting three consecutive 20 win seasons that included a sub-state berth in 2018-19. The girls won a school-record 23 games, so all was good there. But the worst was yet to come, as many of them were exceptional softball players. Second-year head softball coach Greg Reece was expected to win a conference title and showed signs of doing so by beating Sullivan East on the road to go 2-0, but COVID put a halt to the season; they never played another game after that win.
The baseball team was 0-2 but played well in their second game, a close loss to East. They didn’t get a chance to show their vast improvement under head coach Pete Pavusek who too has been making history with 328 career wins as head baseball coach at Johnson County. The loss to East would be their last game. Football was a disaster from the get-go as COVID prevented head coach Don Kerley and his staff from preparing for their season opener at Sullivan East. They lost to the Pats but found a way to defeat Sullivan North, who struggled through a dismal season. The team went on to win four games and make the first round of the playoffs, losing to eventual state champion Alcoa 49-0.
Players like Ethan Bower, Ryan Morefield, and Stacy Greer had standout years for the Longhorns. Morefield made all-conference in his first year of every playing high school football while Bower returned three of his five interceptions for touchdowns that stood atop the leaderboard.
Nobody knows what 2021 will hold, but many are just hoping they can get through the season without interruptions. That won’t be the case for girls basketball who have already had two weeks of games canceled thus far. So throw 2020 sports in the wastebasket, and let’s hope for a better 2021. See you at the games if they let us in to watch.