Many have been hit hard by the news that schools will not return to campus for the remainder of the academic year. It’s a tough and transformative time for all, but especially for the senior class, the class of 2020. Sports360AZ wants to hear from those seniors on how they’re adjusting, what they’re feeling and how this experience can make them stronger moving forward in a new segment we call “2020 Vision.”
Paxton Earl always made the most of his opportunities on the field at Arcadia High School. Now the star running back, who plans on walking on at the University of San Diego in the fall, is trying to make the most of it off it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s kind of weird,” Earl explained to Sports360AZ.com. “You wake up, make some breakfast, finish your school work…probably around 12:00 or 1:00. I go to my buddies’ house so we can lift because he has some equipment.”
Earl was one of the leaders on a Titan team which finished 6-4 in each of the past two seasons after going winless in 2017.
College coaches, you couldn’t ask for a better young man or teammate to be part of your program. The ultimate team player who can do it all from multiple spots on both sides of the ball. He’s been the backbone of @TitanFootballAZ. https://t.co/vH63XPpXmV
— Sam Johnson (@CoachSamJ1) November 4, 2019
The camaraderie Earl and his teammates established in helping rebuild the program hasn’t been lost, even during the current pandemic which shut down Arcadia and every other school in Arizona last month.
“One funny way we actually stay in contact right now is through TikToc,” Earl said with a smile. “We’ve made a bunch of long, funny TikToc’s together, pulling random stuff out of our refrigerators. We’re staying in touch. It’s a little difficult but it’s fun at the same time.”
Despite the drastic lifestyle change both at and away from school, Earl is relieved he was able to finish his senior season of prep sports when many of his close friends didn’t have the same luxury.
“It’s bittersweet,” he explained. “I’m grateful for myself…but at the same time it sucks. The kids on the baseball team, I’m good friends with them, I got to class with them. Some of them text me, ‘I’m an uncommitted senior. I had some momentum and now it’s taken away.’ I don’t have any words…everyone hates it.”
Earl, who scored a 1420 on his SAT, also runs his own property management business (RKDA Home Watch Professionals) says he’s felt the hit in his wallet a bit during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Business is not boomin’ right now,” he said with a wry grin.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder scored 28 combined touchdowns his final two seasons with the Titans.