Only On 6: Athlete Adjustments - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Only On 6: Athlete Adjustments

Posted: Updated:

"One of my football coaches growing up said there's only a few times in your life where you'll get a Friday-night feeling, that adrenaline rush, so I miss that..."

Those are the thoughts of Burkburnett Bulldog Canon Cornelius, but it's a thought shared by many former Texoma athletes every year, after the tassels turn for graduation.

Cornelius is nearly 18 months apart from putting on the school uniform for the last time. He's now about to wrap up his sophomore year at TCU, majoring in Biology.

"I've found other avenues that give me the same rush," he said.

He's talking about classes that deal with his major, fraternity events and intramural sports. That's now filling the time that used to be occupied by Texoma high school sports.

And ask him how he feels about Burkburnett athletics now...

"I miss it about the same since I left," he said.

Cornelius is away from his hometown, recent Seymour graduate Tatiana Martinez is not.

"You form a bond that's just like something you'll never get again in life," she said. "That's why I miss it so much."

Although she attends Vernon College in Wichita Falls, Martinez remains at home, making the 45-minute drive to and from school.

The former cheerleader, basketball and softball star has been to a handful of Lady Panther games.

"It's very difficult to be around it so much, but I enjoy watching my girls win, she said. "It's kind of a win-lose situation."

She chose not to pursue playing sports at the next level, knowing that she wanted to move on to the next chapter of her life.

But the wounds of moving on are still quite fresh, as she misses the crowds cheering, the fans uplifting and even the running of practice.

She now fills that free time with school work, embracing the challenge of college academics. She says she can't imagine being an athlete on top of being of student now. So, that's the plan for the future, get the grades up and get a nursing degree.

Martinez and Cornelius are just two of hundreds of Texoma athletes, who have faced or will face the challenges of life without sports.

Sitting down and talking with them, you get the sense that they never really move on, but do get past it.

Click on video link to hear Canon Cornelius, Tatiana Martinez and a parent, Jon Dressler, talk about adjusting to life without Texoma sports.