By: Zoie Olsen
Just like every sports season, this winter there are many obstacles our athletes are experiencing. This year, our winter sports programs have had some challenges they probably never thought they would go through. As many of us can imagine, playing a sport during a time like this can be hectic, but our winter sport athletes seem to be making it work. The Squire sat down with some of the senior athletes to get the inside scoop on how their seasons are going.
The Squire interviewed seniors Delaney Chase of the girls basketball team, Zane Alexander of the boys basketball team, and Easton Hedman of the wrestling team. We asked each senior the same questions to see some of the challenges each winter sport has had. When asked how the team is adjusting to the new COVID-19 regulations, Delaney shared that it has been difficult because the rules change so often, and that some teams allow you to play with masks off, meanwhile it’s a requirement to wear one at other schools. She explained, “This makes playing hard and causes us to quickly adjust.” Zane Alexander stated, “We just try to follow the rules the best we can to make sure we can play. It’s been tough at times, but if we can keep playing, we’ll follow the regulations.” Easton Hedman added, “At first it was a hard adjustment with losing so many kids to quarantine and extra precautions we have to take, but now we’ve adapted pretty well to work with what we have.”
When asked about some of the obstacles they’ve faced this season, all three seniors shared very similar answers. Chase explained that they have a very small team this year, which can be difficult, especially when sporadically losing players for periods of time with quarantining. One of Chases’ personal obstacles is being the only senior able to play. She had to step up and lead the team since the remaining starters are sophomores. Alexander shared that the team’s main obstacle is that the teams have had to quarantine at different times, which has left the JV team with limited players and having to play some of the varsity games. The wrestling team has had to deal with a lot of changes. Hedman shared with The Squire that they have not been permitted to have tournaments this season, so they don’t get as much competition.
Just like every sports team, each set of athletes has their own strengths and weaknesses. This season, some of their weaknesses may be larger than their strengths. For the girls’ basketball team, their biggest strength is dribbling. Chase explained how their point guard, Bella Marino, is “great at getting the ball up the floor.” In addition, Kaitlin Sleeman, plus Chase herself, are both wings, which adds some depth to the team. Their main weakness is only having two girls on the bench, making it hard to sub and especially difficult if a player gets injured. Alexander stated that their biggest strength is that they have a lot of different tools. For most of the time, their shots are good. Meanwhile, their main weakness is not playing a complete game. “We’ve been in a close game that we should’ve won. If we play four solid quarters, then we can be pretty tough to beat.” On the other hand, the wrestling team is all about supporting each other. Hedman explains, “Our biggest strengths as a team are that we all push each other in the practice room to get better and all work as a family.” Meanwhile, just like most of our sports teams, their biggest weakness is having such a young team.
There is always some kind of strategy to playing and winning games. This year, our athletes have had to strategize to find a way to make playing and practicing with masks easier. Chase shared that in order to make it easier playing with masks, the whole team needs to be in shape, so they do not get winded when running up and down the court with a mask on. Alexander stated, “The best strategy is to just to focus on playing. It’s not bad if you don’t think about it.” Hedman explained how the team got lucky this season because they do not have to wrestle with masks on. They just make sure to wear their masks as much as possible so they can keep that privilege.
The Squire asked the seniors what advice they could give to the remaining players, Chase shared, “Always be willing to put in the extra work during the offseason.” Alexander’s word of advice was to “Practice like you’re in a game. If you’re laid back in practice, then you’ll struggle with the high intensity of a game.” Hedman stated, “Don’t take any practice or match for granted because you never know when it could be over.” All of us here at The Squire would like to thank these three athletes for giving us the inside scoop of this unique season of competing while following the COVID-19 regulations and would like to wish them a safe and healthy season.