Fans Invited Back to Sports Games

Hayley McCarthy, Staff Writer

Returning back to school in September can be bittersweet. For this year’s senior athletes, however, reuniting with their team for their senior year is something they have been waiting for all summer long. After realizing how easily these memories and opportunities could be taken away from them during the pandemic, the senior athletes of Scituate High School are more than ready to make the most out of the 2021 fall athletic season. With the leadership of devoted coaches and the new athletic director Scott Paine, the fall sports teams are eager to make their mark in the Patriot League this season. 

As the MIAA has lifted many restrictions and regulations that were imposed due to COVID, SHS athletes are relieved to return to a somewhat “normal” athletic season. One of the most substantial changes from last year to this year is the return of fans. During the 2020 season, fall athletes were only permitted to bring two fans to the games. This year, however, there are no restrictions on the number of fans, and so far, it is evident that students have taken advantage of this opportunity. SHS Students have already shown their gratitude and excitement for the 2021 fall sports season. In fact, this abundance of spirit was clearly shown at the first football home opener against Milton. 

Senior SHS cheerleading captain Val McNeilly was ecstatic to cheer in front of a full stadium of fans for the first time in two years during the first home game of the season against Milton. McNeilly mentioned that the crowd’s spirit “made [her] appreciate events like this since we missed out on it for so long.” An enthusiastic senior, McNeilly is thrilled to be back and is hoping this spirit will not only be brought to the football games, but to their cheer competitions as well. 

Saying he feels excited to take the football field in front of a full stadium of fans, senior Billy Bernier is overjoyed to have a “real” season for the first time in two years. Bernier emphasized his love for fans and students showing up to support at games, saying, “Coming off the field and hearing them chant adds extra energy to the game.” 

Senior SHS field hockey captain Abby Spires is happy fans are back, but more importantly, she is thrilled to get back a tradition that’s been around for years–pasta parties. This famous tradition helps form close-knit relationships between teammates. Like Spires, senior girls soccer captain Sydney Washburn is thrilled to get the opportunity to have pasta parties before games again, as she believes they are “essential for team bonding.” 

Additionally, Washburn was relieved to hear there are “no rules or modifications [this year] that change the tempo of the game.” Last season, it was difficult to adapt to the strict rules the MIAA imposed; however, this year, players do not have to worry about these rules and can return to playing the game they know best. 

With more games and a wider variety of teams this season, senior Grace Kane is excited for the volleyball season and can’t wait to “get in a lot of play and hopefully have some good competition” this season. Like the other athletes, Kane plans to “build strong relationships” with her teammates “on and off the court.”  

After last year’s uncertainties, athletes aren’t taking anything for granted this year–and neither are the fans. Family and friends attending games provide a sense of community and hope–especially after a year of isolation and unpredictability.