Live Mic: Coach gives Class of 2020 a thumbs-up

May 29, 2020, 5:20 PM
Students in graduation caps. The Utah graduation rate went up over the past few years....
Utah graduation rates continue to see in increase. Photo: Butch Dill, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — No prom, no traditional graduation ceremony, no year-end school championship. That is what was taken from the Class of 2020 everywhere by a disease that is everywhere. But one Utah high school coach said the pandemic has given this year’s seniors something they can carry with them for the rest of their lives: resilience.

Scott Platz, girls’ soccer coach and sports director at Judge Memorial Catholic High School, joined Lee Lonsberry on Live Mic to discuss how the pandemic has affected the school’s athletes.

Rule of thumb

“What advice are you giving your team?” Lee asked.

Platz said his traditional graduation theme — borrowed from a priest friend he knew growing up — is: You are thumb-body.

Related: Honoring the Class of 2020

Everyone has a unique thumbprint, which, he said, is a manifestation of who you are as an individual.

 In order to allow a student’s intellect to stand out, Catholic schools sometimes strip individuality from a person by using mandatory uniforms and rules, he said.

“I just want them to think about when they get into the hustle and bustle of the daily routine of adult life, look back at your thumb and remember how really unique you were when you were supposed to be like everyone else,” Platz said.

Class of 2020: class of survivors

“What lessons have you learned from your students?” Lee said.

Students get the label of being soft these days, Platz said, but they’re not: they’re resilient.

“They’re certainly coming through and performing like we would hope they would,” Platz said. “Their toughness is really coming through even in this very down period of their lives.

“They’re missing out on a lot of traditional experiences. . . In a way this will never be forgotten. This is the most unique class. Their graduation will be the most unique that we’ve ever had.

“In a lot of ways, they’ll look back on it, I hope fondly, and think, ‘Yeah, we went through that tough bullcrap time and here we are on the other end,'” Platz said.

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

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Live Mic: Coach gives Class of 2020 a thumbs-up