A new year with new hopes

How athletes’ seasons are looking like this year


Photo by and used with the permission of Chelsea Williams

With last years’ sports all looking very different from previous years, athletes had a lot to adjust to. While this year has led to slightly lessened restrictions, teams such as girls volleyball still need their masks while playing.

Anyone involved in sports last year can attest to how unusual the seasons were. The implementation of masks and distancing on benches gave all athletes some form to adapt to. With the introduction of vaccines towards the end of last school year, however, athletes this year have had more changes to adapt to:a shift towards normalcy.

Going into the year, I expected the mask mandate to be lifted since the vaccine became available to more people,” Mayah Radoy, sophomore Poms member, said. “Obviously, I was incorrect, but I am thankful that we get to have a somewhat normal season.”

The normal season she refers to is being able to actually do a full season of her sport. Last year, the poms team didn’t get to do the football season and had a lot of virtual competitions for comp season. One of the members of boys cross country is also seeing a change to more in person activity and normalcy.

“The biggest difference in cross country this year is the racing. Last year we had to spread runners out to limit close contact, which made races feel isolated and processional,” Matthew Roalkvam, senior cross country runner, said. “This year athletes compete at the same time, [whereas last year we had]to run with staggered starts, so the competition is much more present [now].”

Even with the shift towards a more normal sports season, athletes are still wearing masks indoors, as well as still having to be aware of situations that are considered a COVID-19 risk.

“We still wear masks, social distance on the bench, stay on the same side of the court and wave at the other team instead of shaking hands,” Chelsea Williams, junior girls volleyball member, said. “I’ve gotten used to it over the last year, so it doesn’t really bother me. It’s more important to keep everyone healthy.”

All the restrictions have always been meant to protect against COVID-19, and according to Roalkvam,“[some] guidelines are better than not getting to” do a sport. That optimistic mindset is what Roalkvam hopes will get the team to do their best this year.

“I am hopeful going into this season: both for myself and the team,” Roalkvam said. “Everyone trained hard over the summer, and we can’t wait to see that hard work pay off.”