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How Have Athletes's Senior Seasons Been Affected? Alumni Athlete vs. Senior Athlete written by kate magliaro

Photo courtesy of Pinewood SmugMug

The saying “desperate times call for desperate measures” has never been more applicable to students and faculty than now. The pandemic has changed our day-to-day lives in ways we never could have imagined. Being at home all the time, zooming into classes and clubs, and having limits on sports seasons have taken a brutal toll on students, especially our seniors.

There has been a particular strain on the senior athletes; from constant changes for athletes to questions about what the future may look like, these seniors have certainly missed out on many traditions that shape their senior year as a whole.

For example, senior night is often considered one of the most exciting and symbolic nights of the year for student athletes here at Pinewood. It serves as a celebration of what the seniors have accomplished, as well as a positive end to a season. But this year, it may be more of a bittersweet end.

Alumna Catherine Blotter says her senior night for the tennis team was especially memorable.

Photo courtesy of Pinewood SmugMug

“It was a night where I felt all the love! A perfect ending to the season,” Blotter said.

While these previous senior nights have ended sports seasons on a good note, current senior and member of the tennis team Karla Hernandez Cid says she is sad to think about senior night. She is looking forward to the rest of the season but hopes it will still be a relatively similar celebration to previous years.

“It will be our last day of the season which will be sad,” Hernandez Cid said.

Another difference between senior sports seasons from past years and this current year is that at the beginning of the year, many seniors had to choose between their fall and winter sports, meaning they would not be able to have a senior season for one of their sports.

“We couldn’t bond to the extent that we would have bonded if we didn't have Covid, mostly because we would have gone on our trip at the beginning of the season,” Hernandez Cid said.

Additionally, because of Covid-19 restrictions, there are a lot less bonding opportunities than there would be during a normal senior season. In the past for the girls tennis team, one of the most anticipated events of the season was the annual trip to Catalina. For Hernandez Cid, team bonding has been difficult with changing schedules and social distancing, but mostly because there won’t be a trip.

“We couldn’t bond to the extent that we would have bonded if we didn't have Covid, mostly because we would have gone on our trip at the beginning of the season,” Hernandez Cid said.

Meanwhile, Blotter says her experience was a highlight of the season.

“I just remember having a lot of fun on the getaway trip because it was a fun time on and off the courts,” Blotter said.

Photo courtesy of Pinewood SmugMug

In general, the matches, games, and meets for sports tend to hold the most excitement for athletes, especially seniors. Blotter said that they were some of her favorite memories from senior year. During normal seasons, there were one to two matches a week with different schools in the bracket. The team this year has not had any matches yet, and will not have one for a few more weeks. And even when they will be able to happen, there will still be a variety of restrictions that take away from the experience.

Still, Hernandez has maintained a positive attitude as she looks forward to the matches that are beginning in the next few weeks.

“I’ve been excited to play actual games now that the season has started up,” Hernandez Cid said.