Knox High School senior remembers year of COVID

KNOX, Ind. - We’re rounding the corner on one year after the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the Michiana area and Tuesday we are also looking back, reconnecting with Gunner, a Knox High School senior we told you about in our first-ever learning curve piece.

Right outside Knox High School, senior Gunner Wagner is practicing his golf swing.

“I love sports. I mean, that's honestly such has such a big impact in my life," Gunnar said.

But 7 months ago when we first met Gunner and his family, he wasn’t sure if sports were going to happen at all.

"The last time I spoke with you we really didn't know what to expect what the year was going to entail but surprisingly it has been as normal as it can before for the times that we're in. We have had really a good year. In spite of the way the world is right now," Rebekah Wagner, Gunner's mom said.

“I've been able to do every single season so far. I'm going into golf right now, but back in August, we did football and then basketball just ended," Gunner said.

The year wasn’t perfect. About halfway through, Gunner switched from in-person classes to virtual learning.

“I think he was virtual about six weeks," Rebekah said.

“I did it right before Christmas break,” Gunner said. "Our girl's basketball team actually did they, a team that they played. Had they one girl tested positive, so they had to quarantine for two weeks.”

The nerves definitely got to Gunner after hearing other athletes had to quarantine.

“I was nervous," he said. “I went virtual just because I didn't want to go through that. I wanted to have basketball and we were in like the middle of the season so I just wanted to stay and be able to play. It was my choice.”

Having a choice to go virtual, might have saved him and many others from lagging behind.

“It's really nice honestly because you shouldn't fall behind if you just do your work," he said.

"And our numbers were high in our county right about that time," Rebekah said. “It was a wonderful option.”

Even with some bumps in the road, like taking homecoming pictures in tracksuits, it’s been a fairly normal school year for Gunner and his family.

"As normal as it can be with this COVID going on," he said.

And covid isn’t stopping every tradition... Prom and graduation will hopefully still be apart of Gunner’s senior year.

“I was worried at first but luckily it was. We're having so may 1 and I think I'm gonna go to prom I'll go to prom and then graduation too," he said.

"Last year as a junior they didn't have a prom. So I'm hoping this senior year, that they will follow through and be able to do what they have planned. I think it's important I mean who doesn't remember their prom, you know, for a lifetime. So I think it's important that the kids at least get to go for one year," Rebekah said.

"It's awesome, knowing that we have the people that we do, behind us to want us to have that is it special," Gunner said.

Knox High School is even allowing 2020 seniors the option to come back and experience the prom they never had.

"They've given the seniors the option to come back because they raised money last year and we raised money this last year as well," he said.

As for after graduation? It’s a new chapter.

“I think I'm going to go to Purdue," he said. “I think I'm gonna go for business management,”

Despite campus tours also looking a little different.

"It was kind of weird. Yeah but I mean, I've never been to college so I mean, I don't know what normal would be like,” he said.

In the end, Gunner’s mom Rebekah has the same dream as most parents right now. She just wants COVID to go away and her son to have a safe and healthy future.

“I hope we go back to the normal that we knew before 2020. And just a successful college year," Rebekah said.

While seniors like Gunner hope to lean on the extra life lessons they’ve learned through this pandemic.

Any questions or concerns regarding local school districts? Reach out at Learningcurve@abc57.com!

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