Christian Westcott remembers it as it was yesterday.
It was senior ball day. Lakeshore baseball was the top-ranked team in Class 4A after starting the season 5-0, and the Titans had a relaxed batting practice before heading home to get ready for that night.
Everything was perfect.
But what the Titans did not know was that their high school baseball career was coming to a standstill. This was the spring of 2020, and COVID-19 had just begun to spread, and sports leagues around the world were closing down, including Louisiana high school baseball.
The 2020 Lakeshore baseball seniors never managed to finish their season, and eventually they graduated in a temporary ceremony and moved on with their lives.
Nothing will ever replace the lost memories of the COVID season, but on April 22, Lakeshore did what it could to honor the senior class in 2020 with a plaque that will hang inside the stadium.
The sign reads: “In 2020, the High School Baseball season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our senior players were stripped of their final season here at Lakeshore. This sign will remain here and they will FOREVER be a part of every game played on Titan Field! “
The 2020 senior class included Cody Davis, Tyler Gegenheimer, Nicky Maus, Norris McClure, Jacob Moore, Chris Olivier, Colby Parker, Blaine Perrin, Blake Perrin and Christian Westcott. Many of the former players returned for a brief ceremony after Lakeshore’s regular season finale against Covington.
Westcott, who now plays baseball in southeast Louisiana, was a brief stop for the Titans.
“For them to remember enough to put us on the wall and leave an actual mark here, it will be remembered forever instead of what we could not do,” Westcott said. “That’s the best part.”
Current Lakeshore baseball coach and athletic director Rowland Skinner said it was important to honor the 2020 class because they lost an opportunity to compete for a title many thought was within reach that year.
“There’s only one group I’ve ever felt sorry for,” Skinner said. “It’s not just the seniors in that class, but everyone who participated in the COVID year. Because it was the only year that was not determined on the field. It affected everyone who participated in that year. Every other team has had a chance to win a state championship other than the 2020 team. “