Winter Sports Prevail

Jack Lange, Online Editor

In January, the CIAC announced some good news for athletes. Several sports have been given the green-light to begin practicing, and a few sports are even allowed to compete against other schools. This news is not perfect though, and comes with severe restrictions. For “High Risk” sports such as wrestling, competitive cheerleading, and competitive dance, the season will look different than normal. No contact is allowed, and therefore the sport cannot be continued. High risk sports are able to condition in small groups while social distancing, and the CIAC has stated that this will likely remain the case for the duration of the winter Season. Despite this altered season, WHS is still excited to get into the winter season. 

One of the teams that has been able to start practice as normal is the swim team, which divides up the team into lanes during practice, that way swimmers only interact with a small group and the team will not have to mass-quarantine swimmers if one gets sick. This system has worked well for the team so far and hopefully it allows them to continue their season unobstructed. Junior Max Whitlock says that the swim team is working very hard to stay safe this season by limiting the number of swimmers per lane and occupants in the locker room. Max is very excited for the season and believes that the team will continue to follow COVID guidelines as they are in the best interest of the team.

Wrestling is not a sport that will be able to compete this season, but that doesn’t stop head coach Chris Gamble from giving the team as much of an opportunity to train as possible. Practices consist of weight training followed by dynamic cardio exercises, building strength and simulating the strain of a wrestling match. Coach Gamble believes that this season is a gift, and did not expect to be able to have any chance to work with the team this year. 

Indoor Track is able to practice, however due to the size of the team they have practice days based on cohorts, so the team is split up during the week. The CIAC has left the possibility for indoor track meets open, and will be making a final decision about them in March. For now, it is unlikely that the 20 plus team meets of years prior are on the table. Sean Corman, a senior running indoor track this year, says that he views this winter season as a great training opportunity for the spring season. Track has both an indoor and outdoor season which allow more time to prepare for the sport. Sean hopes that “all the work that we’re doing now will pay off at some outdoor meets in the spring.”

Girls and boys basketball are two sports with the best chance for a competitive season this year, however that does not come without its difficulties. The teams must practice and compete with masks on, which makes the extreme aerobics of the sport difficult. According to Junior Milena Walker the team has “to take many mask breaks throughout the practice because sometimes breathing gets hard, so it’s a lot of stop and go.” Despite the challenges the teams face they are both very excited for the season. Coach Florio of the Boys Basketball team says that “we are all excited to get to run around again. The players and coaches are happy to have the chance to compete again.”

Dance club is able to practice while social distancing, which poses a challenge for the group as it limits the styles of dance that can be performed. According to Senior Emma Schleck, the team has found it “quite easy to choreograph dances that are distanced, but also still look good.” The dance club hopes to perform for a live audience, but it is more likely that a livestreamed performance will be available for spectators.

The pandemic may be taking its toll on the school, but WHS stands strong, practicing COVID safety measures and doing everything possible to give this school year some normalcy. Indoor Track has been allowed to practice without possibility of competing until March. Basketball, hockey, and swimming have been permitted to play twelve regular season games, all sports are able to have a postseason experience from March 15-28.