On Thursday, Georgia Tech senior student-athletes learned their seasons would come to a halt after the ACC announced all athletic activities within the conference would be suspended indefinitely. In the following hours, the NCAA tweeted that the remaining winter and spring championships would also be cancelled.
The decisions come in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to help monitor and prevent more outbreaks.
Nobody can fault the decision-making of the NCAA. COVID-19 is bigger than sports and many lives have been irreparably affected. However, for the many Tech players that entered their final year, devoting an unlimited amount of sweat, tears, and countless hours of hard work to the institution, the sudden indefinite ending of their collegiate careers doesn't come easily.
There are many Georgia Tech winter/spring sport seniors worthy of being acknowledged. Here is only a small snippet of the seniors who have possibly played for the Jackets one last time.
RHP Jonathan Hughes
In 2015, Jonathan Hughes opted to play for the Yellow Jackets' baseball team over signing a MLB deal. The native out of Flowery Branch, GA was selected No. 68 overall by the Baltimore Orioles. Per the decision, Hughes would not be eligible for the MLB Draft again until following his junior season.
As a true freshman, he suffered an early season arm injury that would require a season-ending surgery. In the 2018-19 season, Hughes was a key cog in the Jackets' bullpen - making 26 appearances. He had a significant role in the ACC semifinals when Tech defeated NC State 9-2.
This season was headed towards being the best for the redshirt senior. Hughes kicked off ACC play with a start over the Virginia Tech Hokies. He pitched a career-long 7.0 innings and fanned a career-high 9 batters. Hughes was set to be the starter for this weekend's matchup against Florida State.
The Jackets sit with an 11-5, 2-1 ACC record.
G/F Francesca Pan
Francesca Pan has made an impact for Tech's women's basketball team since she was a true freshman. Pan started 35 of 36 games in the 2016-17 season and she was named ACC Freshman of the Year. Pan led all freshmen in the ACC in scoring that year with an average 11.5 points per game. Her junior season, Pan reached the 1,000-career point in the Jackets' 74-51 win over Idaho State.
Pan's senior year would be no exception to her dominance. She helped lift Georgia Tech over Pitt in the second round of the 2020 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament. She led the Jackets with 26 points, three assists, and three rebounds against the Panthers.
Pan was named to the 2020 ACC All-Tournament Team. Pan averaged 20.5 points per game in the Jackets two games in the conference tournament. She ranked top-20 in the league this year in scoring (370).
Unlikely to make the NCAA tournament, Jackets (20-11) could have played in the WNIT.
Men's golf starter Andy Ogletree, in addition to seniors Luke Schniederjans and Tyler Strafaci, was named to the 2020 Ben Hogan Award watch list. In 2019, Ogletree won the 119th U.S. Amateur Championship - only the third Tech player in school history to win the title. Ogletree had a career scoring average of 71.64 and six top-10 finishes. In the Jackets' last golf tournament, Ogletree's 4-under-par 68 contributed to No. 3 Georgia Tech finishing 10th at the Southern Highlands Collegiate.
Georgia Tech men's golf team are the defending ACC Champions.
Other notable seniors:
Triple jumper Bria Matthews and women's tennis Kenya Jones
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