COVID-19 affects senior athletes

Photos courtesy of Jessica Pozezinski

When COVID-19 started, many different problems came to people’s minds right away. How will the economy thrive with everyone at home? How will students continue to work hard at home? How will freshmen be able to truly feel welcomed at home on Zoom? But a certain group of people were overlooked, most likely for their upper hand in age and experience, but COVID had brought upon some new issues for senior sports scholars. 

“At the beginning during March, that was my softball season for high school. The first couple weeks of that where we didn’t know if sports were going to be canceled or not. We definitely did have some Zoom meetings just to check in with each other and to stay social because at that time we were all just super uncertain. After that, though, we kind of fell off because once the summer hit many students had different priorities. But then in the fall, when we had those contact days and we had those kinds of practices and camps and stuff like that, we kind of inverted. We acted like everything was normal and kind of set aside the pandemic. We talked about things we love like softball or volleyball and just be in the moment,” said senior Jessica Pozezinski. 

Ever since COVID-19,  over 20 states pushed back the majority of their spring sports to the fall of 2021. Seniors who planned their future years before now face the conundrum of having their future in peril and having their future out of their control. Thousands of students all across the country have planned to go to college for sports. 

“D1 and D2 had shut down recruiting, so there were no top coaches to try to impress,” Pozezinski said. The usual main recruiting method had been canceled for sports players at North. Not only that, but high school practices were canceled as well.

 “We had no high school practices, but we did have travel practices and tournaments for softball,” she said. ”Coaches and faculty still tried to keep sports players as active and safe as possible.

Even with the protocols, nervous teachers and students quitting or giving up was not something anyone felt was necessary  “We were probably the only sports team wearing masks because we wanted to take the extra precaution. We were kind of nervous,” Pozezinski said.

Although the team felt uneasy, teachers and coaches kept students six feet apart as much as they could and made it a rule to wear face coverings while practicing.

“Teachers made sure everyone was sticking to the protocols. It never really got up to the point where people didn’t show up,” Pozezinski said. 

Regardless of the new methods and the rules, sports players are still ready to play with masks and socially distanced. 

“I don’t think people won’t be willing to show up during future sports events, but when you play at that next level, you are willing to go that extra mile to play especially after not having many games this past few months,” Pozezinski said.

 With everything changing, the most dangerous to their future is the recruiting process. Now with COVID-19 and new safety measures, the usual recruiting process for high school players by college scouts was now unable to be performed. The question isn’t who is gonna play, it’s will they be able to play? 

“The recruiting process has definitely changed a lot, like people in high school that are trying to get recruited for college. It’s not gonna be people who are unwilling to play more so will they be able to play because they’re getting recruited by those coaches. It’s definitely gonna be a little different,” Pozezenski said.

Even with the worries of not being able to do what they love, the team players of the school still work hard to show up to practices even with the new rules of wearing masks, staying six feet apart, and sanitizing. Seniors now have to work hard with what they love but also find worthy alternatives in case the pandemic causes their sports career to be put on hold.