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After 646 days on the shelf, Oregon's spring season high school athletes make the most of their return.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Clackamas senior J.D. Dorn fist bumps coach Jon Arntson after hitting a triple against Sandy on Thursday, April 29. Dorn and the Cavaliers have started fast in their long-awaited return to the diamond in 2021.Nobody waited longer.

It was tough for the fall season high school athletes who returned to action in March, and it will be challenging, too, for the winter season stars who'll get their chance beginning in May.

But nobody — nobody — had to wait longer to return to action than Oregon's spring season high school athletes.

While the 2019-20 winter season was stopped at its very end and the 2020 fall season was delayed, delayed again and shortened, Oregon's spring season athletes lost their entire 2020 season, then had their 2021 season cut to six weeks.

So, when those athletes finally got the chance to get back on the baseball and softball fields, track, tennis court, golf course and lacrosse field, they made the most of their opportunities.

And when they got those opportunities — after 646 days from the end of the 2019 season to the start of the 2021 campaign — they relished them for just how special they are.

Here's what they had to say about it.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lakeridge pitcher Holly Beeman cheers on her teammates during their April game against Oregon City. Beeman and the Pacers are back in action after not playing together since May of 2019. Phoebe Borkus, Oregon City softball: I think high school (softball) is all about having fun. And I really think that we've been having a lot of fun. … We're just having a great time. It's awesome."

Kyle Goecks, Lakeridge track: "I don't think there's any better feeling than crossing the finish line first, a feeling I missed (during) the 2020 season."

Aurora Barkley, Wilsonville track: "I'm so thankful to get this opportunity to compete after training six days a week for a year with almost nothing to show for it until now. I love competing, but the best part of this season is the community. Even though we can't be as physically close this year, I don't think I've ever gotten to know as many kids during track as this year."

John Foglio, Putnam baseball: "None of us, I don't think a couple months ago, thought we were going to get out here, so just being out here playing win or lose, it's good to play."

Abigail Sheets, Wilsonville girls track: "The best part is just getting to compete in general, as well as having teammates that are really supportive of each other."

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Gladstone's Brayde Owen gets ready to high-five Garret Finch during their game game against Madras last week. The Gladiators have started their 2021 campaign with a 6-2 record in their first eight games.Max Bledy, Wilsonville baseball: "The best part is just the feeling, the emotion of just being in the dugout with my team, being on the field, my team, the adrenaline rush that you get when you hit the ball or when you make a play — it's just a lot of fun."

Hannah Daniel, Lakeridge girls track: "I would say the best part after returning from the 2020 season is being surrounded by so many teammates passionate about the same sport. I love to see my team compete and support each other after a difficult year. I am more than thankful to be back."

Blaise Heher, Lake Oswego baseball: "We haven't played on an actual team for the last year and a half. We've been playing on throw together teams, and it's a lot different than just playing with your guys, guys that you're out here every day for six days a week, so it's a lot of fun."

Cam Clayton, Lakeridge baseball: "It feels amazing to get back out on the field again. These are all my best friends so I would like nothing more than just get to play with them. Just being able to stand on the diamond and being able to do that with my brothers, I mean, this is the best time of my life."

Aaron McCall, Lake Oswego boys lacrosse: "I was kind of burned out of lacrosse at the start of last season, but now we're back and it feels good to be back with friends and just having fun."

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