By Erin Holly McDermott, Editorial Staff ‘23
The COVID-19 virus has affected every aspect of modern-day life, including sports. Professional, recreational, and competitive sports have been all been greatly affected. It seems as though, and for good reason, sports were not at the forefront of people’s minds, however, it is clear that they are not athletes. Being an athlete and not being able to play your sport, which dictates your entire day, mood, and social life is devastating. Those of us lucky enough to play got games and matches canceled, due to other teams contracting the virus and shutting down.
Playing sports during a pandemic is tricky. There are many precautions in play, from both the school administration and the CDC. The precautions included wearing masks, except for when actively playing and signing COVID waivers, to ensure no symptoms or exposure to the virus. One of the many hardships of this fall sports season was the cancelations. If another team contracted the virus or shut down due to COVID cases, games with that school would be canceled. This resulted in very short seasons for many Indian Hills’ teams, seasons that are typically 12 or 13 games were reduced to 7 or even 6 games. Stephany Baik, a freshman who plays girls tennis in the fall, said:
“Before the season started, all the players received a schedule of the games and opposing teams that we were going to verse. But unfortunately, due to covid, most of the games were canceled, and depending on each school, we did not know if we had a match or not until a couple of hours before the game. Although there was some difficulty with communication on both ends and the organization that had to go into it, the season ended with everyone staying healthy and we were all happy that we even had an opportunity to get out on the courts and play tennis.”
Some independent teams, club or recreational teams, have shortened their season as well. They did this to reduce the chances of exposure and lessen the general risk to players. Tara Flynn, a graduate in 2023, who competitively swims explained by saying:
“I have actually enjoyed the swim season so far. We have to social distance and we can’t be with our friends, but I don’t mind that. We have a lot less meets, and we have to compete at home. We can’t go anywhere. We also don’t have locker rooms, so we have to leave wet. All in all, it’s a very weird experience.”
Coronavirus has also brought new concerns, for players, into the mix. One of these being the increase in pressure placed upon young athletes. This comes unexpectedly, as something one may not think of. Daniela Reich, a freshman varsity soccer player, conveyed this idea:
“I would say that COVID has put a lot more pressure on us as a team than usual and that we’re all really trying to give it our all because we want to do our best given the circumstances.”
All in all, it takes great responsibility and resilience to have perseverance. All Indian Hills fall athletes have all showcased this. Athletes, and students alike, must understand that these precautions are in the best interest of the student body. Hopefully, the winter and spring seasons will be able to continue uninterrupted.