COVID Sports: A Senior Perspective

COVID Sports: A Senior Perspective

Samantha M., Senior Editor

While students are not able to officially compete in sports due to the Coronavirus, many sports can practice and are currently in progress. As fall sports come to a close, I decided to reach out to senior athletes and touch on their perspectives of sports during COVID.

Alyssa F. ‘21, explains that the adaptation of girls tennis in the time of COVID has not prohibited the team from participating in the sport since “tennis has always been appreciated because practices are always fun.” Even though many individual’s mindsets have been negative due to the uncertainties regarding COVID-19, girls tennis has been able to practice and play successfully. With “practices being only a little different, everyone uses their own balls and stays a little more distanced,” the teams’ mindset has remained upbeat. The tennis team has been able to bond as “it’s not as necessary to attend practice since there are fewer matches[, but] people still go for fun.” A team of fewer than fifteen, girls tennis has proven to be “a really close knit team. Whether you’re the most advanced player or a beginner, our positive attitudes and appreciation has made us successful despite whatever our record may be.” Even with alterations due to COVID, Alyssa proves that the tennis team is closer than ever before.

Another senior athlete, Ethan M. ‘21 has run cross country. Cross country, unlike tennis, has made greater adjustments as the team “consists of both in school students and zoomers.” Ethan elaborates on the difficulty of “running as a group, [as] you tend to [forget] your surroundings and can get too close to someone while breathing hard.” However, they ensure that guidelines are followed at all times. For example, “during stretching exercises in the parking lot, we are all very distanced and the zoom[ers] stretch in an area where they can be more than 6 feet apart.” Beth Tfiloh’s cross country team has exhibited various techniques in order to distance appropriately while running. In relation to tennis, Ethan believes that “the overall vibe of the team remains the same in terms of togetherness and purpose for exercise.”

Differing to both tennis and cross country, volleyball, an indoor sport at Beth Tfiloh has been turned into “an outdoor [sport]” Shayna L. ‘21 explicates. Not only has the location and regulations changed, but also the timing of practices. Prior to COVID, volleyball “practices would take place in the Hurwitz gym and last about an hour and a half. But now, we have three painted courts with nets set up on the upper field and practices last about an hour.” The schedule of practices also varies, for instance, “before Covid, we had a real season, which required us to go to every practice [in preparation] for games. Now that it’s intramural, we can attend when it [aligns] best [with] our schedule.” In addition, before beginning, each player’s temperature is taken. Shayna describes volleyball as “very successful so far and a fun way to keep players excited and their skills sharp.”

Another popular fall sport, soccer, has adapted in many ways as well. In the past, Marissa R. ‘21 explain that soccer had “five practices a week for an hour and a half and games too, but this year we only have 2, one hour practices.” Additionally, the soccer team has found ways “to make this year more fun. We’ve split into mini teams each led by 1 or 2 seniors and do competitions and scrimmages.” Marissa explains that the soccer team “always has a mask on hand, distances when possible, and always get our temperatures taken.” As a senior herself, Marissa notes that “although it’s unfortunate to lose your senior season, our coaches have tried to make it fun for us and everyone on the team [which] overall has been pretty successful.”

As each senior has expounded on the details and alterations of their sports which they have played for years during COVID, it is evident that students appreciate the ability to play. Each team has been able to successfully distance, continue playing, improve their skills, and have fun. Although not all teams can compete with other schools, seniors explain that they are thankful for the opportunity to play their sport, providing comfort and a level of closure.