Student-Athletes Adapt to COVID-19 Situation in Different Ways

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Photo By Jared Hyman

Matthew Gula '22 hits a single in the third inning against Elgin on March 3. Baseball was one of many spring sports to have their season shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Amoli Agarwal and Amy Simon

This school year was full of athletic achievements, including the varsity boys’ basketball team making it to their first regional tournament in 22 years, the varsity tennis team winning their 10th consecutive district title, and the swim & dive team taking 13 people to state. However, the year was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many sports, including track and baseball, had barely started their seasons full of promise before all games and meets were cancelled. Several athletes never had the chance to showcase their hard work and dedication. 

Even though the pandemic has shut down all school-sanctioned sports practices and events, students are still trying to improve their athletic ability and keep up with their sport during the extended break.

“I’ve been going to the park almost everyday to practice some skills,” JV White soccer player Jerry Deblois ‘23 said. “I’ve also done many at home video workouts and logged them on MapMyRun.”

In spite of the many students who are able to stay active, the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the athletes who aren’t able to access the places and equipment necessary for their sport. 

“I haven’t been able to practice much because most courts have been closed,” varsity tennis player Helen Le ‘23 said. “I’ve had to incorporate home workouts into my daily routine, [but] I’m still more out of shape than I was before the coronavirus.”

Staying fit and healthy is one of the problems caused by the shutdown, but another challenge facing students is missing being part of their school teams. 

“I think the worst thing for me has been that I’m at a point in healing from my foot injury,” SunDancer Claire Petiprin ‘23 said. “I was really looking forward to dancing full out with a bunch of amazing people and getting to know some of the other team members better. I haven’t really danced since I got my first round of X-rays in December, and I really miss that.”

However, students have accepted the situation at hand, and are adapting in whatever ways they can. 

“I’ve been making the best out of this situation by continuing to work out,” JV track runner Emilia Cichocki ‘23 said, “but I know that it’ll be another year before I do run track, and it’s harder to be motivated.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited athletes in several different ways, but many are still trying to work hard in whatever way they can by keeping fit and improving specific skills. Although it is not likely that sports will open up anytime soon due to various health risks, student athletes continue to train and hope for the best during these uncertain times.