Editor’s Note: For 20 days in April, the Deseret News will profile 20 elite high school athletes from the 2020 graduating class and how they’re coping with the premature end of senior life on and off the field.
PARK CITY — Dylan Bauer was one of the mainstays on Park City’s football team last fall, racking up 1,970 yards and 20 touchdowns to lead the Miners all the way to the 4A title game where it came up short against Sky View.
The runner-up finish simply added to Bauer’s hunger to get back on field playing his best and favorite sport, the sport he earned a college scholarship for — lacrosse.
Park City won back-to-back lacrosse state championships in 2018 and 2019 with Bauer as one of the focal points, and he came into this spring excited about the prospect of a potential three-peat in the first year lacrosse was a UHSAA sanctioned sport.
In Park City’s first game back on back on March 9, it dominated Timpanogos 22-2 with Bauer recording five goals and four assists.
Park City never got a chance to play a second game as the the UHSAA suspended high school sports on March 12 at the recommendation of the Gov. Gary Herbert. The suspension will last at least until May 1, and many believe will wipe out the entire season.
“It’s pretty sad ‘cause we’ve all put in so much time and effort and senior year is supposed to be your most fun year,” said Bauer, who’s signed to play lacrosse this fall at Johns Hopkins, one of the top programs in the country.
“We’re more bummed about not having the memories, ‘cause practice we’re all together five and six days a week, and you just can’t get that time back, which sucks,” said Bauer.
Amid the frustration, Bauer is keeping his frustration in perspective knowing COVID-19 is creating much larger problems around the world.
“It’s out of my power really, but at least we’re not going to war and getting drafted like the old days. This is bigger than social life and sports right now, but it definitely sucks. We can’t make this time back up, but it is what it is.”
The seriousness of the situation took a while to sink in for Bauer and some of his teammates even after school and sports were suspended. Even after the state announced schools were shutting down for two weeks back on March 12, Bauer said he still hung out with his friends that first night.
Everything changed over the next 24 to 48 hours as the news cycle painted a more serious picture of the coronavirus.
“We’ve all just been isolated ever since,” said Bauer.
Despite the isolation, one of the state’s top lacrosse players is keeping busy on the off chance the season resumes next month.
A trainer sends him a daily workout through an app, and the senior makes sure to lift and run every day while also getting in some lacrosse work in his front yard with his bounce back.
“I still have to get ready for college even if this season doesn’t get back. But I’ll be ready if it is,” said Bauer.
He and all of his Park City teammates are doing their best to stay home and practice social distancing, but for the seniors there’s a growing sadness each day.
“These are the kids I’ve been playing with since I was in third and fourth grade, and it definitely sucks that you’re not going to get to play with your childhood best friend again,” said Bauer.