It was Sunday night, and junior Samantha Whiting had been doing homework for hours. She opened her phone to a Twitter post, which announced that the mens lacrosse season had been cancelled. Tears inexorably slid down her face as she called another crying teammate and texted her coach, “is our season cancelled too?”
This year, spring sports teams are forced to adapt to unprecedented conditions––they have to communicate virtually and train individually. Lacrosse, tennis, softball, baseball and track seasons have been cancelled.
“I’d been waiting for lacrosse season,” Whiting said. “Playing lacrosse really kept me going through junior year; it kept me excited. I was motivated to work hard and defend our state title, and now it’s just gone.”
The womens lacrosse team still commemorated their senior night virtually on April 24, and the team moms delivered decorated signs and balloons to the seniors’ houses to emulate the normal experience. The team has still engaged in virtual meetings, and for the first four weeks of quarantine, each grade level led a meeting. The seniors held a game of charades, the juniors dropped off cookie dough at the players’ houses, the sophomores designed a Kahoot and the freshmen created a Jeopardy game.
“At lacrosse [practice], you talk to everyone, but with online school it’s harder to keep in touch,” Whiting said. “Zoom is a way to do that. Our team is one of the closest groups, so it’s really nice to see everyone even if it is online.”
Track and field coach Evan Hadrick has also prioritized the mental and emotional health of his athletes during this time.
“Intrinsic motivation is more important than ever with everyone in quarantine, so this is a great opportunity to work on that with our athletes,” Hadrick said. “We’ve been talking to our athletes about figuring out how our workouts are personally beneficial to them, whether it’s getting them ready for their fall sport or helping relieve some stress after a day spent in front of their computers.”
Head womens tennis coach Julie Schiller has gotten creative in finding ways to keep her players healthy. She created a week of challenges for the players that included physically, musically and creativity-based activities.
“We [like this system] because it is a bonding experience without actually being together,” junior Ally Jeter said. “It also keeps us accountable for our health because we do GroupMe posts, and everyone can see what we all are doing for workouts and activities. Our coach wants to make sure we are not only staying fit but taking time away from our screens.”
Similarly, the softball coaches have been sending their players exercise routines and links to professional softball games to study technique.
“Our team is doing its best to continue communicating whether it’s through [the] coaches posting workouts on Schoology or someone sending a funny TikTok to our team GroupMe,” junior Monse Rodriguez said.
Baseball met in early April to discuss the future of their season.
“The idea is that hopefully we will play someone at the end of May just to put a cap on the season,” junior John Callis said. “Mr. Baad wanted all spring sports to play their rivals, such as St. Mark’s.”
According to a poll of 143 students, 52.4 percent report miss having daily practice.
“When you’re at school during the day, you sometimes feel so tired that you don’t want to go to your afternoon practice,” Whiting said. “I remember we had to do a difficult running test during lacrosse on my birthday this year. But I would honestly do that every single day to have the season back.”