Lack of preseason’s effect on winter sports

From+left+to+right+Seniors+Alaina+Jacobs%2C++Shantynae+At-Water+Boyd%2C+Olivia+Harder%2C+Katelyn+Bezzo%2C+Elisia+Gonzalez%2C+Hanna+Exner+stand+on+the+court+during+a+Basketball+game+in+the+19-20+school+year.

Photo Curtesy of Katelyn Bezzo

From left to right Seniors Alaina Jacobs, Shantynae At-Water Boyd, Olivia Harder, Katelyn Bezzo, Elisia Gonzalez, Hanna Exner stand on the court during a Basketball game in the 19-20 school year.

Student-athletes have faced a flurry of changes following the Covid-19 pandemic.
After multiple suspensions, cancellations, and postponements, winter sports such as girls & boys basketball, competitive cheer, hockey, and wrestling were approved to begin their first practices of the year on January 16 according to the MHSAA website, but they must remain non-contact until February 1.
Girls and boys swimming, diving, bowling, and girls gymnastics were all approved to begin competitions at the end of January per the January 13 MHSAA press release.
“Masks will be required of all participants except when they are actively participating in gymnastics and swimming & diving,” according to the MHSAA.
The delayed start of the winter sports schedule has caused disruption to the normally busy November/December training and conditioning routine of many sports. Swimmers such as sophomore Jose Hinojosa say that the biggest obstacle to the normal pre-season was the lack of pools open.
“I think the hardest part was developing a new routine that involved working out on my own. I started working with more weights in order to have more strength now that swimming is coming back,” Hinojosa said.
With the lack of preseason, some student-athletes are working on their own to develop new practice routines and workout schedules.
“As much as I don’t want to, I’ve grown to love it. I built a mini-gym in my basement that I use when I’m not playing Minecraft,” Hinojosa said.
Other sports such as basketball have also faced a hard time beginning the season during a pandemic. According to ClickonDetroit.com, basketball is considered a medium-risk sport due to the large number of people playing indoors.
Senior Katelyn Bezzo has no plans to let the restrictions stop her from having her senior season.
“I’ve been running a lot to build up my endurance and working out almost every day,” Bezzo said. “[Covid-19] has definitely had its impact on the basketball season, it’s been harder to be in shape and prepared.”
Many students have begun to feel Covid’s effects on their sports schedules and are still hoping to salvage as much of a season as possible.
Some high-risk sports are also able to continue, such as competitive cheer. Senior Madison Murdock hopes to have a normal season but knows it’s unlikely.
“I’ve really had to prepare myself for what I thought would be an amazing year but turned out to be a flop,” Murdock said.
Most seniors this year are at a loss on how to feel about their seasons being shortened and disrupted.
“Originally, I expected my senior year to go without hiccups, but we’ve all seen how that’s played out. We have a great team this year, and I’m hoping to make the best of it moving forward,” Murdock said.