Winter Sport Seasons Started Off on the Wrong Foot — or Skate

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Annabel Carr

Junior Sean Armstrong maneuvers the puck towards the goal in a Jan. 26 game.

Caspar Dowdy, Views Editor

There’s something unmistakable about in-person school.
Whether it’s the crowds of people, the lively classes, seeing friends again or waking up before sunrise, going back to “normal” has been an adjustment for many.
For junior basketball player Gwen Anderson, the change is a welcome one.
“Going online was hard because right after our sixth hour Zoom we would have to rush to the high school from home to practice, so it was hard and much different,” she said.
When the school began learning remotely, the ability for spectators to attend games was limited as well. Girls basketball players were allowed only two tickets per game to give to family or friends.
“There were no fans at all and it was hard to make our own energy without them,” Anderson said.
Some underclassmen team members struggled to attend practice as their parents worked, Anderson said. For players of all classes, going from online learning to in-person practice required extra energy.
“I feel that we took a little longer to get going at the beginning of practice,” junior Kyleigh England said, “because we were sitting in bed all day doing homework and not moving as much as we would have been if we were in school.”
Anderson said that she struggled to keep an athletic mindset during the online period, struggling to play without fans and with teammates out sick.
“It… didn’t even feel like basketball,” she said.
The team managed to persevere, though it took effort from every player.
“We kept working hard everyday, and didn’t give up when we were tired, and learned to push through it,” England said.
Other teams, like ice hockey, dealt with changes during the online period. The team practices outside of Edwardsville and was faced with fewer COVID restrictions, but high positivity rates impacted the team.
“It made games harder with players out sick.” sophomore hockey player William Lukowski said. “We had a couple games where we would only have seven to nine players total.”
With smaller teams and sick players missing practice, Lukowski believes that the team lacked chemistry and lost endurance.
“I think that it kinda put a barrier on how much we got to practice on and off the ice,” he said.
Despite this, he sees the team being successful throughout the rest of the season.
“…at the end of the day we all are still friends and play for the same team,” Lukowski said. “I think those issues have already gotten better and they will keep getting better in the few years to come.”