Downtown Jesup honoring high school athletes who didn’t get to complete season due to COVID-19 outbreak

Downtown Jesup honoring high school athletes who didn’t get to complete season due to COVID-19 outbreak
Hundreds of Georgia’s high school athletes aren’t able to finish their season this year, after the Governor extended the school closures. (Source: WTOC)

JESUP, Ga. (WTOC) - Hundreds of Georgia’s high school athletes aren’t able to finish their season this year, after the Governor extended the school closures.

Now, communities are finding ways to honor their senior athletes.

Senior banners usually travel with the athletes during games, and they hang on the fence for the school to see.

But now they have a new home outside stores in downtown Jesup.

As the head tennis coach at Wayne County High School, it was hard for Windy Dolan to see her athletes’ season cut short.

“My boys last year finished in the Elite 8 and I was hoping they could do better, and I was hoping my girls could get to the Elite 8 this year.”

Now, tennis players like Gracie Carter will never know.

“You can’t control what happens but you can control how you react. So I’ve tried to stay positive and find a positive everyday," said Carter.

Well that positive hangs right outside a few stores in downtown Jesup.

“I am a proud citizen of this small community and that’s the way for me to honor and support them," said Deidra Odum with Designs by Deidra.

“The kids look forward to this for 12 years, some 13. This is a big accomplishment for them academically," said Johnna O’Quinn with Britches and Bow Boutique.

Deidra Odum and Johnna Oquinn were asked by Coach Dolan if the banners of spring athletes could hang outside their store windows.

There was no hesitation.

“It’s a piece of the puzzle they’re never going to have complete.”

For many athletes like Jenny Miron, it’s a heartwarming act to see the community honor them like this.

“This is pretty good. Everybody just drives by and sees our posters," said Miron.

Hannah Wise, who runs track and field, says the banners and senior events are things you look forward to by the end of high school.

But she knows the safety of her community comes first.

“This is part of a bigger plan that we need to keep our community safe. That’s the maim reason why we’re just rolling with it and taking it as we go," said Wise.

And in the small town of Jesup, these athletes, coaches, store owners and community members say their faith in God is what keeps them going.

“God has a greater plan and he’s always in control.”

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