Winter sports persist in the midst of the pandemic; unique season brings teams closer together

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The PMHS boys varsity basketball team.

The Covid-19 pandemic presented an entirely new series of challenges to athletes in high-risk winter sports this year. In addition to having to decide whether to risk exposing themselves to the virus by playing during the season at all, those that elected to participate faced team quarantines, last-minute cancellations of games and scattered practice times.

James Rebholz, a PMHS senior and varsity basketball player, was happy simply to have a season. “It was definitely harder than a normal season considering all the restrictions, but it was very fun being able to actually get on the court and get as many games as possible.”

Sophomore Emma Crotty, a member of the field hockey team, also found ways to enjoy her experience under the unique circumstances.

“This season was definitely different, but I think the fact that there was so much that changed made the teams that I was a part of closer,” she said. “We were able to bond over how weird everything was and still make the most of every practice and game. I appreciate playing sports for the school so much more after almost not being able to for a whole year.”

“It was definitely worth the struggles to be able to play,” said Crotty.

Varsity hockey player and sophomore Angus Deeney, much like Crotty, felt that the bonds he formed with his teammates in recent months would not have been created in a “normal” year.

“This season for hockey was definitely a struggle for my teammates and me,” he said. Due to a Covid-19 exposure, Deeney missed his first game of the season. The entire hockey team also had to quarantine after just a few games when neighboring teams began reporting increased Covid-19 cases.

“All of this shortened the already short amount of time that we had to complete the season,” said Deeney. Although he said it wasn’t “horrible,” Deeney is hopeful that next year will hold a more typical season for his team.

“I truly want and I am hoping that we have fans back in the bubble next year to cheer us on!”