Adam Ripple | Athletes of all ages should appreciate the game | Somerset

Whether it is their first or last year of competing in sports, athletes should cherish every moment that the game offers them.

With everything going on in the world today, it is important now more than ever to appreciate the little things around you.

So many athletes missed out on spring sports while others had their winter sports season come to a crashing halt.

Now, sports are coming back, professionally down to youth athletics. But there are some sports that will not be played this season.

Minor League Baseball was canceled for the 2020 season last week. Those athletes looking to climb the ranks and make it to the show never had that chance.

On May 11, the remainder of the American Hockey League season was canceled. 

Minor league sports cannot survive without fans in the stands. Therefore, if things do not improve drastically, where it is safe for fans to attend games, there may not be minor league sports anymore.

Some professional athletes are opting not to resume play in the MLB and NBA because of safety concerns.

Athletes are putting their families first ahead of the almighty dollar. But for some athletes like Felix Hernandez of the Atlanta Braves, his comeback bid to rejuvenate his career is on hold … potentially for good.

Even youth sports players had to play the waiting game before stepping back onto the field.

Youth sports are underway and it is tremendous children are not missing out on summer activities. A year without summer baseball, softball or soccer could deter them from coming back the next season.

Meanwhile, high school sports are still in limbo. While athletes continue summer workouts under stringent safety protocols and new mask-wearing guidelines, no one knows what will happen come August when fall practices are scheduled to begin.

If schools do not re-open fully, the PIAA would likely have no choice but to delay or cancel fall sports. Therefore, some seniors could potentially miss out on their final year of scholastic sports.

And that is why it is so important for athletes to commit 100% every time they step onto the fields of play and embrace the sport. You never know when it could be your last opportunity to play the game you love.

The roars may not be the same this fall. However the touchdowns, goals, kills, putts drained, aces served up and miles ran will potentially be more significant than any other time in athletics as we all continue to seek a new normal.