A baseball season lost: Holyoke’s Aiden Consedine reflects on senior year

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  • Holyoke High School three-sport athlete Aiden Consedine won't be playing center field his senior year here at Mackenzie Stadium after all spring sports were canceled. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Holyoke High School three-sport athlete Aiden Consedine won't be playing his senior year of baseball as all spring sports were canceled. Photographed at the school's North Campus on Friday, May 8, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Holyoke High School three-sport athlete Aiden Consedine won't be playing baseball his senior year as all spring sports were canceled. Photographed outside the school's home field, Mackenzie Stadium, on Friday, May 8, 2020. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 5/19/2020 3:51:35 PM

Editor’s note: Over the past four years, the Class of 2020 has made their voices heard, advocating for women’s rights, against gun violence and for action on climate change. They’ve also shone in the classroom, on stages and on playing fields. And then, just as senioritis was supposed to set in, along with a season of celebration, the global pandemic struck. For the next few days, the Gazette is spotlighting students in the Class of 2020 — congratulations to all the graduates and their families.

HOLYOKE — When Holyoke High School Senior Aiden Consedine woke up, checked his phone and learned that the remainder of school had been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, his thoughts almost immediately jumped to whether he’d be able to play his final season of baseball for the Purple Knights.

About a half hour later, Consedine said he learned of even more disappointing news. Baseball, too, had been canceled for good, he said, leaving him and his teammates without the senior sendoff that’s been almost four years in the making.

“It’s made me appreciate what you have, because being around friends and being around your family, it’s all a privilege,” said Consedine, 18, about how the pandemic has changed his outlook on life. “When you have friends around, who you can play sports around, who you can learn around, it’s a really special thing.”

A three-sport athlete with talents in football, basketball and baseball, Consedine described the abrupt end to his high school career as “weird,” but he said he’s not letting unforeseen circumstances get in the way of staying active and keeping in touch with friends.

Aside from his regularly scheduled nights of playing “Call of Duty” with his teammates, Consedine said he’s been taking advantage of his newfound time to take solo hikes up Mount Tom when it’s nice outside. He said he often hits up his friends to play catch from 60 to 70 yards away at the parks near his high school as a good way to practice social distancing while also keeping his arm loose for baseball. To stay conditioned, Consedine, who attends Holyoke High North Campus and played center field and first base for the baseball team, said he’s been using his backyard for sprints.

“If I was sitting on the couch all day, I would probably go insane,” he said.

A self-described “people person,” Consedine said he has been missing seeing his friends as he walks down the hall as well as his opponents from other schools on the field. He said he and his classmates are upset because they will miss prom, senior skip day, graduation and other memorable moments. Some students, Consedine said, have been working with the school’s principal to see if any of these events could be moved to the summer.

“We went to school together for three and a half years, and we don’t get to graduate together,” Consedine said. “We’re kind of a little upset.”

Consedine said he’ll be attending Springfield College, his father’s alma mater, in the fall where he plans on studying business management. He has been given a tour of the campus by the school’s baseball coach, and he hopes to walk on the team come next spring.

“I’m going in open-minded,” he said.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com.

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