Seniors and Coaches on Fall Athletics during COVID

It comes as no surprise that the coronavirus pandemic has completely taken over our lives in cinema-like ways. If we zoom out of our Earth bubble for a moment, it seems like we’re all featured in some low-rated blockbuster sci-fi movie, where the plot thickens and then loosens with no clear ending in sight. From forcing us to turn our homes into our lives to mercilessly robbing the 2020 seniors of their prom and graduation, this virus has been compassionless to say the least, and the class of 2021 seems once again unable to escape it’s wrath.

As the new school year begins, so does the Fall Athletic Season. Students attend classes by day, and sports by night. While it is safe enough for teams to practice in-person and around each other, (an opportunity not afforded to Spring Athletics of 2019-20), the season remains quite different from the previous year. While certain sports are granted with more “privileges” than others, it’s no question that this new season doesn’t leave much room for conventionality—or the competitive spirit. Due to a lack of competition, the need to wear a mask throughout all of practice, and weekly change in health orders, the Girls Varsity Field Hockey team is one of the fall sports that have been hit the hardest by Covid-19. I spoke with some of the seniors and coaches on the team to learn about how they felt about field hockey during this time.

Sydney Cha, one of the two captains, discussed how the virus presented a unique challenge and really displayed the team’s commitment to the sport. “I think I’ll always remember how people still stay dedicated to the team even though we couldn’t actually play games,” she told me. Coach Salcedo de Diego ‘Coach S’ wholeheartedly agreed with Sydney, stating that “you players are doing a terrific job coming up in high spirits, and all we are trying to do is keep that energy… it’s all coming from you, you come in with the perfect, right, attitude and all we want to do is keep channeling that.”

Annie Wang, the second of the two field hockey captains, gave us a slice of relatable pie. When asked how she feels about the season, Annie responded, “Terrible. But, I mean, we’re making the most of it considering, but I did not expect my last season to look like this.” Riley Pynnonen, a senior on the team, shared a similar thought process, telling me how there was definitely a big adjustment period and it was difficult to come to terms with the fact that this season was going to look abnormal.

Nonetheless, when asked what they appreciated about this season, every single interviewee went back to the basics: just the fact that they could play. It seems like if COVID-19 had any positive affect, it was to remind us to be grateful for the little things in life.

As for the second half of the season, the future is looking up. With the recent green light given by the administration to begin competitions on Sunday, September 20, it seems like our Girls Varsity Field Hockey team will finally get the opportunity to do some real playing.


Liza Ruggiero