As a second wave of the COVID-19 virus forces winter sports to delay their seasons, athletes are left feeling conflicted over necessary safety measures and disappointing restrictions.
“COVID has pushed back our season twice,” Eisenhower senior boys basketball point guard Tarone Johnson said. “We now have to wait until Jan. 15 to start tryouts. We also were not able to have our pre-season workouts, so a lot of kids with no access to a gym are going to be a little rusty.”
Though all athletes have found themselves disappointed about the way their season has panned out so far, the senior Class of 2021 has taken the brunt of the repercussions.
“I am very sad because it is my last year,” Ford senior powerlifter Maria Beninati said. “Powerlifting is not something a person can do in college, so I do not want to miss out on it. Powerlifting is very rewarding, and the coaches of the team make the experience worthwhile. I hope I can get in a little bit of the season because I will miss it.”
Losing out on the sport itself is not the only disappointing part for the seniors as many athletes were looking forward to interacting with friends.
“It makes me upset that I will not be able to socialize with the people I met from other school districts,” Utica senior girls bowler Reagan Kremhelmer said. “I wish I could practice with my team and coaches since it is my last year of high school.”
Though the winter sport athletes are struggling to stay positive, there is hope of an eventual start to the season.
“I am most looking forward to seeing my friends again,” Eisenhower junior boys swimmer Rohan Aggarwaal said. “I miss interacting with all the people that I have not seen in months.”
After teams battling COVID for the past year adding delays and restrictions during sports seasons, athletes are wondering what the future years will bring.
“I am not really sure how next season will look,” Utica sophomore competitive cheer flyer Gianna Caruso said. “At this rate, it kind of feels like things are going to take a while to go back to normal, so I think it will still feel really weird like this season has felt.”
Coaches are also worried as to what the coming seasons have in store for their future teams.
“I think the shortened season will have an impact on the freshman and JV players the most,” Eisenhower girls’ basketball coach Clifford Piper said. “There will be less practice time for fundamentals and individual skill development. The junior high players will also have less time to improve their skills and their game. I think basketball camps and individual off-season work outs will be a priority this summer.”