Editor’s note: With social distancing guidelines firmly established, Sports Editor Daniel Mayes is conducting interviews with area athletes from the safety of a secluded corner of his home office. Quarantine Chronicles is a Q&A series with local sports standouts about their daily lives during the COVID-19 outbreak.
For Dalton High School senior Tyson Swope, playing college football was always the goal.
Swope played defensive end of the Dalton football team and outfield for the baseball team during his time in school, and when that offer came to continue his football career, he took it.
Swope announced last week that he would be playing football at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama, where he'll major in health science.
"Playing college football has always been a dream of mine," Swope said. "When you're little, it's all about Division I. When I got older, I realized that may not be a reality. When I heard from their coach, it was an honor. It's a good fit, because the type of defense they run is very similar to what we ran at Dalton."
With the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), Swope's final baseball season was canceled just a few games in, and the senior is finishing out his studies remotely while trying to stay active with schools closed to students.
Swope spoke with the Daily Citizen-News about his life since the cancellation of the high school sports year.
Question: What are you up to while learning from home?
Answer: I normally wake up in the morning and work out. Then, I finish my schoolwork. I spend a lot of time with my family. We go on family bike rides and hang out a the pool. It's been a lot more family time.
Q: Do you like staying at home, or would you rather be in school?
A: In the beginning, I was a fan of getting a couple of weeks off before spring break, but the longer this went on, and the more stuff got canceled, I'd much rather go back to a normal routine and see all my friends.
Q: What was your reaction after the baseball season was canceled?
A: After all the hard work we put in, to only be able to play a few number of games was very upsetting to say the least.
Q: What has been your favorite moment of your high school sports career?
A: My favorite moment was beating Northwest this year on senior night. Normally senior night is at the end of the season, but this year we held senior night on the night of the Northwest game, so that just made the rivalry that much more meaningful for everyone in red and white.
Q: What are you like off the field?
A: Really, I just try to stay active and stay outside. When I go hang out with my friends, we don't really stay inside. We'll go fishing and hiking and stuff like that.
Q: Who is one person you look up to?
A: I'd have to say Scott Thompson, our strength coach at the high school. He's been a really big mentor in my life for the last four years. He's taught me how to treat people and how to love your family.
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: Tom Brady. I really like his game and him personally. When I was little in rec league, I played quarterback, and the coach that ran the offense called me Tom Brady. I've always just looked up to him.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: "Talladega Nights." I could sit there and watch it every night and probably still laugh. It's one of those that just never gets old.