COVID-19 proved to be the only force that prevented Central Cambria senior Cass Bezek from physically earning her 15th and 16th varsity letters on the softball field and track this spring. Bezek made an immediate impact as a freshman in four sports, including basketball and volleyball, and emerged as the go-to leader when a talented group of seniors graduated in 2019.

The PIAA’s announcement on April 9 to cancel the entire spring sports season hit home for Bezek, a 2019 all-state volleyball player who holds the school’s shot put record.

“When spring sports were canceled, I didn’t quite process it right away,” she said. “As a senior, you look forward to spending your final moments with your friends and teammates. When that gets taken away without warning, it is heartbreaking. Social media has been great for keeping in touch, but it is definitely not the same. I miss seeing my teachers and classmates in school every day.”

Central Cambria Athletic Director Randy Wilson has stated each senior student-athlete will be awarded a varsity letter for 2020.

After claiming the past two Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference track and field team titles, Central Cambria was searching for another three-peat to replicate the girls volleyball team’s run from 2017-19 atop the league.

“I was looking forward to softball and track this season more than ever,” said Bezek, who was slated to be the softball team’s shortstop while competing in the throwing events in track and field. “In both sports, we had something to prove. In softball, we felt this was going to be the year we turned things around, and in track we were looking forward to rebuilding and proving we were still a dominant force. Although we had some rebuilding to do in track and field, we had the girls in every event to compete for a third straight LHAC title, so it’s definitely a disappointment.”

With her endless list of accomplishments, Bezek certainly made her mark at Central Cambria. 

“Cassidy has been a joy to have as a student-athlete representing Central Cambria from Day 1,” said Wilson, also the girls track and field coach. “Being a four-sport athlete is a rarity, but being a dominant athlete in all four is even more rare. Every coach and opponent, for that matter, knew what Cass brought to the table, a tough-nosed, fierce competitor that never backed down, one that always rose to the occasion and was gonna shake your hand whether she won or lost. I know I speak for the entire athletics department when I say that Cass’ passion and dedication will be missed.”

Bezek, who maintains a 4.4 GPA, will attend St. Francis University in the fall, majoring in chemistry with a focus in pre-pharmacy. She plans to attend pharmacy school. The daughter of Marty and Jenn Bezek, of Jackson Township, is also involved with National Honor Society and Interact Club, and is vice president of student council and the senior class.

“My time at Central Cambria has been absolutely unforgettable,” Bezek said. “I’ll never forget the bonds I had with all my coaches and teammates. In particular, I’ll never forget being a three-time LHAC champion in volleyball, getting my 1,000th dig, making the final four in basketball in the 2018-19 season, and breaking the school shot put record last season. I’m also so thankful that I got to do all these things with my best friends by my side.”

In volleyball, Bezek compiled 1,174 career digs. She produced 916 points, 416 rebounds, 197 steals and 174 assists in basketball. 

Jake Oswalt is a copy editor for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @TheWizOfOz11 

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