Jacob Bush has some unexpected time away from school this week.
The Pillow Academy senior is spending that time chasing his first turkey of the new hunting season and helping out on the family farm.
He’s glad to have something to fill his free time now that Pillow is getting at least an extra week for spring break. School was canceled this week because of the threat of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, in the area.
Although hunting and farming are a big part of his life, Bush, 17, is hopeful to return to school for the remainder of his Pillow career, which started in kindergarten, and still get a chance to close out his senior baseball season.
Beginning March 23, the Midsouth Association of Independent Schools will use a week-to-week approach when considering additional school closures.
“It’s a really strange time right now,” said Bush, a Greenwood native. “It will be really sad if baseball is over before it gets started good, but there are a lot of other people dealing with much bigger problems during all this.
“But this is a difficult time for all my classmates and teammates.”
The Mustangs are not even allowed to practice until further notice, which leaves Bush anxious about the rest of the year.
“I guess there are a lot of unknowns at this point, but we seniors are hoping for the best,” he said.
Bush first got involved on his family’s farm in Leflore County at an early age. He rode along on tractors until about seventh grade, when his duties began to expand some within the large farming operation. He moved up to laying down irrigation pipe and spot-spraying with a backpack rig, and now he does it all.
Farming runs deep in his bloodline, but he wasn’t sure he would one day join the family business. He had thought about becoming an ag pilot, but recent crop duster accidents have put that thought on hold.
Bush now knows farming is what he wants to do once he graduates from college.
“I was pretty much raised on the farm, so this is in my blood, and I look foward to one day helping run the farm,” he said.
But for now, he is focused on the rest of his senior year, getting through whatever school and athletic hurdles remain. “My senior year, especially this last semester, won’t be forgotten, one way or the other.”
Maybe he can bag a gobbler in the meantime.
Hunting, like farming, is a big deal in his family. He began tagging along with his dad, Chris Bush, and his uncles around the age of 5.
He got his own gun at 8 and has been hooked on hunting deer, turkey and ducks ever since.
•Contact Bill Burrus at 581-7237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.