Positive Attitude Helps Student Athletes Cope

Senior+Colin+McCarthy+running+at+a+Cross+Country+meet+

Ariana Camaj

Senior Colin McCarthy running at a Cross Country meet

Being a student in the age of COVID is hard enough: hybrid kids moving from home to school and back, and fully-remote students lacking the in-school learning environment once hated by teens of all ages.  Masks for eight hours a day is no easy feat either.  While social distancing and mask-wearing are absolutely essential for the safety of our community, that does not make it any easier.  Especially when it comes to sports.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many sports have been restricted, postponed, or simply canceled during this past fall.  The football season at Yorktown High School, a valued and spirited team at our school, was completely canceled, but thankfully other sports such as Yorktown Varsity Soccer and cross-country were still able to be conducted.  Even out of school sports such as dancing were impacted by this pandemic. 

YHS junior Alyssa Bruno, a dancer with Spotlight Dance Studios, said that the studio has been taking numerous precautions to protect the dancers from COVID-19.  “As soon as we walk in, we get our temperature checked, and always take hand sanitizer,” she said.  “We aren’t allowed to be in the dressing room since it would compromise the social distancing rules.”  Alyssa mentioned that her time with Yorktown High School’s Dance Company has also been affected as dancers are no longer allowed to do partner work.  Choreographers are now being faced with the dilemma of how to keep dances appealing, yet covid safe. 

Varsity soccer was also faced with a few challenges regarding the boys fall 2020 season.  As mentioned by senior Reuslan Semenko, “The pandemic caused us to not be able to play a game or two due to the fact that the other team had COVID cases, and had to see their season be canceled.”  However, as many other students are trying to do, Reuslan is keeping positive and was able to take away great memories from his senior year.  “My favorite highlight of the season was our win against Somers at home… When we scored the final goal to win the game; it felt absolutely surreal.” 

Patrick Ryan, another senior at Yorktown, who runs on the varsity cross-country team, was able to reflect on his season in a positive light as well.  “Although the season was unconventional, I’m glad we were able to have one.  [Some highlights] from this year would have to be all-league, all-county recognition for some of our runners.” 

COVID-19 has not been kind nor relenting this year.  All these student-athletes, along with their teammates, had to adapt to running and performing aerobic activities with a mask on.  While all the chaos presented to students and faculty has been anything but relaxing, it’s nice that many of us can still find joy and happiness in school sports.  As stated best by Alyssa, “Dancing during the pandemic is my outlet to get away from what’s happening in our real lives.”  This pandemic is not yet over, but until it is, high school sports will remain affected.  But it is up to the participants to keep the experience enjoyable and safe for all.