Return of Sports

By Miles Stewart, Guest Writer

Sports are essential to the high school experience. Sports give students a chance to grow within the community, make new friends, and simply take a break from school, escaping the deluge of stress and homework. 

However, a pandemic has changed that experience. While many of us were able to eventually return to school for two days a week, due to the uncertainties of the virus, and the necessity of social distancing and wearing masks, students could not play or practice sports. Additionally, many students, especially freshmen and new students, missed opportunities to interact with each other due to the pandemic. With no school dances, no sports games, and no common traditions like homecoming, making connections within the community was especially challenging. But sports are now helping to fill the void.

After the winter break, with many teachers and coaches getting vaccinated, winter sports resumed. While student athletes could not practice every day, the return of sports was a breath of fresh air during unprecedented times. 

A few weeks later, fall sports resumed and are currently in session. This time, students are allowed to practice five times a week, back to normal. Some sports, like soccer, are practicing off-campus at different facilities such as Oak Marr. Additionally, many of the major sports like soccer, cross country, tennis, lacrosse, field hockey, and baseball have held scrimmages on the weekends. Additionally, Flint Hill instituted a COVID-testing policy which requires all athletes to receive a COVID test every Thursday. While the tests are certainly uncomfortable, it is necessary to ensure the health and safety of all students and prevent the spread of COVID. 

The return of sports presents an opportunity for new students and freshmen to safely make new friends and create new experiences in the community. 

A freshman on the cross country team, Cole Davidson, highlighted how sports helped him integrate within the community, saying: “Running cross country has helped me meet new people, which is especially challenging during COVID, and allowed me to spend more time with people who are interested in similar things as me. Doing a sport is a great way to build teamwork with my other peers and gives me the opportunity to learn more about other people by spending lots of time with them.” 

Another student, a junior on the varsity soccer team, Mohammed Mogharbel, explained why returning to soccer is important to him, saying “soccer is one of those sports that brings people together. I also know the importance of community within soccer, as I met my best friend playing it in 8th grade.”

While school is not completely back to normal, as we must continue as a community to socially distance and wear masks, the return of sports provides us a great opportunity for us to come together.