The Return of the Sports Season


photo by Flint Hill Athletics page

By Joy Alemu

Due to Covid-19, many sports seasons, some being the last for the senior class, were cancelled. It is proven for all ages that this caused a psychological impact on many student-athletes. Sports are very important as sports are a way to control anxiety, reduce stress, and especially the senior season, in order to commit to colleges.This time is very excruciating for high school athletes. Now that the sports season is returning, there have been videos and pictures of students practicing(link here). In order to follow guidelines and keep the members safe, there is social distancing and the use of masks, depending on the sport, during practice. In addition, practices are split up with senior and juniors practicing on Monday’s and Tuesday’s and sophomores and freshman practicing on Thursday’s and Friday’s. However, does this really measure up to the excitement from prior years?

As the captain of the swim team,  Senior Mailinh Nguyen commented on this and said, “So I’m actually really sad that the season was canceled. It was our senior season and I was super excited for some team bonding, practice, meets, and epically states, but I am really happy that we at least get to be in the water and start practicing. I’m glad I get to be a team captain still and get to swim. I’ve met with some underclass students and have been really happy that I get to enjoy the season we have with the team.”

High school sports are important. They allow students to succeed in what they are good at and have the ability to open doors that were once not available. It is proven through research that high school athletes are able to perform better on tests, miss fewer days of school, and have less disciplinary issues. This is because students who play sports typically have to be academically eligible. It is also proven that because of these factors, high school athletes have a very high graduation rate. But now, as we have seen COVID-19 and quarantine occur, grades have significantly dropped without athletics.

 A Flint Hill basketball coach, Mr. Shedd, says that “from a coach’s perspective, I think there are both positives and negatives to the return of the season.  As far as positives, it’s been really wonderful to see a lot of the players I coached last year again, and to get to meet so many of the new students.  Everyone has had a really positive attitude and has been working very hard. Even in just these short weeks, I’ve already seen players get better, and I also think the players have enjoyed the chance to spend time with their peers outside of class and the regular school day. At the same time, it can be hard to practice when we’re not able to pass the ball to each other, and we have to be very vigilant to properly socially distance when we’re sharing a gym.”

The sports season is important to many athletes across the nation and Flint Hill has continued to show that it supports its students while maintaining safe measures.