SHS Athletes Reconcile with COVID Cancellations and Restrictions


Delaney Sandner, Staff Writer

Student-athletes at SHS have been profoundly impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus, which caused a surge of new safety requirements. Many athletes were allowed to participate in their sports at the beginning of the school year; however, some seasons were cut short right before the playoff season, including field hockey and soccer. With the winter sports season close ahead, many students are wondering what their future athletic seasons will look like, but all students are passionate about moving forward. 

SHS junior Siobhan Reidy, a member of the girls’ varsity field hockey team, was very upset and disappointed about the season being cut short. She said, “This was the best that the field hockey team has been since I have been a freshman.” Reidy knew the odds weren’t in her favor when playing this year, but despite numerous changes to the game, she still had high hopes. Games were changed to seven-versus-seven instead of eleven-versus-eleven. According to Reidy, this “made the game more of a team game, meaning the team had to learn how to work well together since there were fewer players on the field.” Some of the changes even allowed the team to get closer than they were in the past. Reidy believes this is one of the reasons the team performed so well this year since everyone was working collaboratively. Although the team was able to enhance their skills, they had to quarantine for two weeks at the start of the season, causing them to miss several games and practices. “Even worse, when they got shut down at the end of the season, that day was supposed to be their semi-finals,” Reidy said. 

Reidy wishes the field hockey team could have played longer since the athletes had so many opportunities this season. For example, if they won the final game that they missed because of COVID, they could’ve gone to the championships. Sadly there were no adjustments or changes for the field hockey team since their season was cut short, and they had to forfeit in the semi-final. Overall, Reidy wishes the season could’ve ended differently since the team had strong potential that they wanted to put forth in the latter half of the season.  

According to Colby Mullen, a junior on the boys’ varsity soccer team, the team was having an amazing season with a consistent winning streak. Sadly, right before the semi-finals they had to quarantine and couldn’t make it to the finals. Mullen said, “It was really rough. We had a really good team this year [and] graduated a lot of seniors which was pretty disappointing.”  The boys’ soccer team currently only has five or six returning players next year, which left much of the team feeling disappointed to lose time with teammates.

Like field hockey, the soccer team had fewer games, and players were required to wear masks.  Typically heavily dependent on defense, the team had numerous limitations due to COVID restrictions. In particular, close contact with players was restricted. Mullen commented that the team they beat before the season “ended up winning the championship,” which meant if their season wasn’t cut short they could have possibly won the championship. Mullen said he wishes they could’ve played longer since this year’s team was amazing.

For fall athletes who were looking to play at the college level, the abbreviated season presented an additional challenge: film footage of games was needed for potential scouting, and since athletes missed a good portion of their season, film footage was very limited.

Benjamin Whitman, a junior at SHS, is planning to play hockey during this upcoming winter season. Whitman says athletes are expected to wear masks, and they are required to “dress outside in the freezing cold and wait ten mins before practice or a game to go to the rink.”  Officials are looking to decrease the amount of physical contact among players. Notably, this year there are no playoffs, which Whitman finds very upsetting. He says the playoffs are always super fun and everyone looks forward to them. According to Whitman, with the playoffs taken away, there’s less purpose. Spectators are not allowed in the ice arena, which is another disappointment to many hockey players, as fans make the games more enjoyable.  

Whitman also said there have been changes to the hockey team’s schedule. Due to COVID, the season has been pushed back and is now starting later: “The season usually ends at the end of February and starts at the start of December, but now it starts at the end of December and ends at the start of February.” Whitman wishes things this year could be different, but he is dealing with the changes positively.