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Mining City athletes look ahead to fresh start

Butte’s Tommy Mellot, multiple state-best marks highlight Swede Dahlberg Invitational
Posted at 6:17 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 16:18:23-04

BUTTE — When the Montana High School Association announced the cancellation of spring sports it was met with mixed reactions from coaches, players and parents all around Montana.

“(It) was a tough day, but I completely understand and it’s what’s best. It was the safest thing we could do," said Butte High track coach Arie Grey. "Safety is the most important thing and I’m so proud of our organizations for putting that first.

Safety is truly the most important factor regarding high school athletes, but it doesn't take the sting away from athletes like Butte Central's Aaron Richards.

“I was just looking forward to putting on the Maroon uniform a couple more times, because that’s what you dream about growing up -- going to football games, basketball games, track meets," said Richards. "When it got taken away, it just felt weird.”

The senior class has been forced to accept a new and unfair reality, but a lost season will never take away what they’ve accomplished

“You look back at some of the performances we’ve had in the past couple of years in the state of Montana, it’s been amazing," Grey said. "And I feel for those seniors, but all those seniors around the state, they left a legacy, they did. And I’m proud of our seniors, and I’m proud of our state and how we’re handling things.”

More importantly, a lost season will certainly never be able to take away the countless friendships and memories made.

“It’s such a great opportunity to be around friends in a low-stress opportunity to just go and compete and be around your friends every single day," said Butte High senior Tommy Mellott. "Memories I’ve created in the past three years have been life-changing and I’ll be able to remember those for the rest of my life.”