Ruby Comeau waited four years for this. It may have ended after just two practices.
The Eastport-South Manor senior gave up softball in eighth grade after her travel team disbanded and financial constraints meant she couldn’t join another one, she said.
She had jobs and personal expenses to concentrate on, and high school softball was a luxury her time would not abide. She instead decided to get a job, working in retail, bussing tables, at times working two jobs while attending school full-time.
Comeau, 18, saved up everything she could in the hopes that she could return to the sport she loved and to be part of a team again.
“I always wanted to go to college for softball but then I couldn’t get that because I started working and had to start taking on some responsibilities,” she said. “But I thought that maybe my senior year, maybe I would get the chance to just feel free in a way.”
“Honestly, it would mean the world to me” to just play once.
With spring sports postponed – and in danger of cancelation – due to the coronavirus pandemic, Comeau is slowly coming to terms with the fact that she may not be able to live out this dream.
"It's heartbreaking," said Ruby's mother, Kristin. "As soon as I found out she made the team, I was like, 'Give me a list of all your home games. I want to go.' "
Kristin Comeau said Ruby bought her own car, paid for the insurance and saved enough to cover life expenses, freeing her up to take the time she needed to dedicate herself to softball one last time.
"It's hard," Kristin Comeau said. "I don't know -- it's all kind of surreal, everything that's happening."
Ruby Comeau was thrilled to make the team and said she knew she might not be able to start at her old position – shortstop – but she was willing to play wherever, just as long as she could play. Her coach, Laura Ward, did tell her starting could be a possibility, but first she had to shake off the rust. Two practices later, everything stopped.
“I would be really upset” if the whole thing was canceled, she said. “We’re trying to be positive about it."
Her teammates are in constant contact and often FaceTime, she said, trying to encourage each other as the long days get longer.
“My teammates are honestly so nice,” she said. “They’re totally accepting of you. I did have a hard time in high school fitting in, so it’s nice to have these girls just be your friends. ... It took only took a week to feel like I was part of a family.”