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Golf helps high school senior excel in a challenging pandemic year

For the class of 2021, it has been a year like no other. A graduating senior from Canby feels her team sport helped her manage her senior year, despite COVID.

CANBY, Oregon — For the class of 2021, it has been a year like no other. A graduating senior from Canby feels fortunate her team sport wasn't canceled this year by COVID.

Canby High School Senior Allison Bassett has a great swing.  It's what has helped her succeed on the golf team and in school during a pandemic when remote learning ruled most of the year.

“Behind a screen, it's easy to shut down and not turn on your camera, and you know it was hard,” said Bassett.

For the normally outgoing Bassett, golf has been a way to keep things going, to get out there, despite COVID-19. Her junior year the pandemic did stop the season.

“We had two weeks of golf practice and COVID shut everything down, as everyone knows, and that was hard. But I work at a golf course so i just took it and ran with it, I played as often as I could.”

One thing Bassett couldn't do was visit her grandmother. She suffers from Alzheimer’s and lives in a memory care center. They've always been close.

“Not being able to see my grandma was very tough, especially with her being my last grandparent,” said Bassett, who added that she has been able to visit in person with her grandmother a few times recently, with safety precautions in place.

Despite the challenges, Allison knows she is blessed.  She's got a loving family: both parents and an older brother. And a boyfriend too.

And Bassett has done very well at Canby High School, where the celebration is on for seniors who graduate Friday. Bassett will finish her career there with a 3.9 grade point average.

But it has been the other things that seem to have mattered more lately: her connection to school choirs, although they had to practice on Zoom to connect.

On the golf course, however, it's a different story. For golf, she gets to do it in person and she's got a winning record.

“Being able to be a part of the golf team and the program and practice with those girls and see my coach the days we were able to, being able to have that supportive group was a great motivator."

Motivating enough for the Canby Cougars girls golf team to win the Three Rivers Conference title, over some tough competition, with Bassett leading the way.

Now it's graduation time and despite all the challenges everyone has faced, there are exciting times ahead for the Class of 2021.  For Allison Bassett that includes college, at Oregon State University. Canby High School's graduation ceremony is Friday.