If this had been a normal season, the Bryant Hornets soccer team would be hosting the Little Rock Central Tigers tonight for their final regular-season home game.
It would be Senior Night at Bryant Stadium.
But the lost season due to the reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic robbed the Hornets of the 2020 season when they hoped to return to the finals of the 6A State tournament and, perhaps, win this time.
So, there will be no Senior Night festivities. Parents will not be walking their sons across the field, no traditional celebration of their Bryant High School careers.
As it was, they only got five matches in this season, going 2-2-1.
It’s a bitter pill, particularly for the seniors, Jonathan Azpeitia, Eduardo Chun, Brandon Delgadillo, Jacob Doonan, Carlos Gaytan, Jonathan Giron, Jaden Holland, Max Hooten, Brian Ibarra, Codi Kirby and Ethan Voorhees.
“It was a good class,” said Hornets head coach Richard Friday. “This group was the last group from when I took over four years ago.
“Codi Kirby was our goalie last year and a large reason we were so good,” he continued. “His shot-stopping was phenomenal.
“Carlos Gaytan was a dominant center back. He won balls in the air and could hit accurate passes with his left foot.
“Jonathan Giron was fearless and would do whatever was asked of him. He could strike a ball well with both feet.
“Brian Ibarra was a general in the midfield. He could win the ball and coolly distribute it around the field.
“Brandon Delgadillo could weave his way around anything and had a great left foot. When you thought he was in a corner he be out before you could realize it.
“Max Hooten was a tireless worker and had a great strike with both feet. He could play on either side equally.
“Eduardo Chun was a ball of energy and had loads of fight despite his size. Loads of ability off of the dribble.
“Jonathan Azpeitia was a physically strong player with a deadly shot.
“Jaden Holland was quick with fast feet and a calm first touch.
“Ethan Voorhees would play with reckless abandon. He was extremely difficult for an attacker to play against.
Friday concluded, “I wish this group would have had that opportunity. I think we could have made it back this year.”
As juniors, the group helped the Hornets put together a 16-3-2 including a 14-game winning streak before a 3-0 loss in the State title game.