Roy Kang ’22
The COVID-19 has worn on for more than a year now, and during that year Blue Storm athletes suffered the lack of interscholastic athletic competitions. The pandemic has disrupted every facet of students’ lives. From simply wearing masks on a daily basis to a complete prohibition of interdorm visitation, school life has been altered significantly. For athletes, the lack of interscholastic competition has left many of them questioning the validity of continuing practices.
Nevertheless, after the long wait, students finally received the news that they will be able to compete against other schools. The girls’ varsity lacrosse team traveled to St. James School last weekend while various other teams on campus will be competing against schools like the Hill School very soon.
Associate Director of Athletics Paul Sipes says that the athletes are required to be tested for the coronavirus two times per week, including a rapid test before they leave campus. They must wear masks the entire bus ride with each team riding a separate bus, sit in alternating seats every other row, and not stop while on the road to get snacks or food. Head boys lacrosse coach Tim Kerr stated, “We feel confident in the steps the school and the lacrosse program have taken to move forward with interscholastic games.”
What about the games themselves? Do players feel rusty after not having a match for a whole year? Fortunately not.
Both Kerr and the head girls lacrosse coach Kristin Ahlgren have expressed confidence in their upcoming matches. Ahlgren said, “Our team is strong on the basics, and the players have a really solid understanding of how to generate offense and play good defense.” Cate Vickery ‘22, a softball player, when asked how she feels about the team’s upcoming game, said, “Super excited, we’re playing Hill this weekend and the team could not be more excited to play another team other than Mercersburg for the first time in over a year.” Athletes’ excitement is not limited to just Vickery. Arnav Pallapothu ‘23, a tennis player, said “I’m both nervous and confident about our game on Saturday because I know that our team is good but this is my first game in a long time so I’m nervous.”
The school is taking every measure to prevent a Covid outbreak on campus. The excitement of coaches and athletes is through the roof because they haven’t been able to compete for over a year now. Athletes are hoping that this is the beginning of the long-awaited return to normalcy.