Pandemic Shapes Sports Seasons

Jennifer Brosius

COVID has had a drastic effect on everyone, from theaters to restaurants to family gatherings. It has also had a substantial effect on the sports teams at Kapaun Mount Carmel. The 2020 sports season in particular was hit hard by the effects of the pandemic. 

Varsity swimmer senior Olivia Orth said that there were pros and cons of how COVID affected her bond with her teammates.

“I couldn’t swim with my close friends because they kept varsity together for fear that if JV was exposed they would wipe out varsity,” Orth said. “Believe it or not we got a lot closer as a team because on online Wednesdays we would go out for team breakfast and I’m going to miss doing that a lot. Negatively, it was hard to interact with everyone during practice simply because we were so separated by our designated lanes.”

Junior basketball player Max Keller felt that maintaining his bonds with friends was difficult.

“We were not allowed to be within a certain amount of feet of each other,” Keller said. “It was hard to hang out with friends outside of school during COVID as well. I also wasn’t able to go to mass in person for about three months during COVID.”

Not only did COVID affect bonds with teammates throughout different sports, but it also affected the outcome of practices. Practice times, and how some sports practices ran were affected as well. 

Junior softball player Stephanie Castro did not feel that the pandemic affected practice due to it being held outside. 

Coaches, as well as players, were just as, if not more, affected by the pandemic. It made scheduling practices, having alternatives, matches, meets, and games difficult to schedule around. 

Cross country coach Gage Garcia also noted the difficulty with having consistent competitions.

 “It was hard scheduling meets not knowing if they would get canceled just the day before,” Garcia said. 

Students not only expressed the change in practices but also how it affected their overall sports experience in high school. Many felt that it was unfair and felt it gave them a disadvantage during the seasons. 

Senior tennis player Reagan Boleski was disappointed about last year’s season. 

“Out of all the changes last year, one especially hurt us more than the rest,” Boleski said. “Instead of allowing six singles players and six doubles teams to qualify for state, KSHAA only allowed four. This meant we couldn’t bring our second doubles team which could’ve made a major difference in our outcome at state.”

Junior Alexa Garret on the golf team wishes that she had more opportunities to compete last year. 

“COVID did affect the number of tournaments I had last season,” Garret said. “I wish that I had got to play more tournaments my sophomore year; it is fun to test my skills competitively.”

Orth felt that the season barely even existed.

“It honestly didn’t even feel like a real season because my freshman year the meets were the best part but last year they were the worst,” Orth said. “Sophomore year we didn’t even get a season so I guess last year was a step up, but still not a true idea of a real season.”