Will it be a normal year for sports at GMHS?

The+Varsity+Cheerleaders+showing+their+lancer+Pride.+

Picture Credit: Tammy Carmosino

The Varsity Cheerleaders showing their lancer Pride.

Abigail Romba , Reporter

     Times have changed throughout the past year and a half. From schools closing completely to doing school work online, going back to school in a limited capacity, and now back into person full time, kids are excited to get back into the classroom and play sports again. Going into the 2021 – 2022 school year many people thought that it would be a “normal” school year, but that is not the case. Many sports teams have had to be quarantined due COVID outbreaks on the team and cancel games.

   As the times have changed there are new rules and regulations to follow to help not spread the virus, for example everyone who rides on any buses, including sports and regular school days have to wear a mask at all times. For sports teams like football, football players used to be able to eat their sandwich and cookies on the bus after each away game, but due to covid and new school protocols everyone has to eat outside before they enter the bus because the school does not want to spread the virus on the bus. Senior John Amon said that he is excited for the rest of the season and “We’re coming for the D10 championship.”

     Cheerleading has faced some challenges also when it comes to COVID outbreaks on the team. Junior Delaney Fickle said  “Even throughout the hard times, we have made it a priority to have team bonding activities. We have planned outdoor activities outside of school to help get to know everyone on the team. It has really helped us grow and be a better team all together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for us, and am looking forward to a great junior year.” During COVID it has been difficult to get the whole team together at practices due to people being in quarantine due to being exposed or having COVID. It has been difficult to be able to work on cool stunts, because we are missing key parts to our groups. 

     For soccer both Rutkowski and Hakanen said that the season has been pretty similar to last year during the 2020-2021 school year with all of the covid protocols. Sophomore Maggie Rutkowski said “ This season has actually been really similar to last year, but it feels more normal than last year. So far COVID has had a minimal effect with only a few people that had to quarantine. We are very lucky that we get to play and even have a season this year. The most difficult part so far in having people out is adapting as a team to go play at our level.” Senior  Wesley Hakanen said “The season has been pretty tough because of injuries and sickness. There have been a lot of false alarm COVID cases and actual COVID cases that have taken many of my teammates from playing.” Both Rutkowski and Hakanen are excited to play and Hakanen is excited for his senior year. 

     Volleyball has had some challenges when it comes to playing. All of their games are indoors and because of the limited space in the gym due to mandates, senior Brooke Simmons said “COVID has definitely made an impact on our volleyball season. It has put many restrictions on the way we play and allows fans to participate.” Simmons says that if they are not being active on the court, they have to make sure that they are all wearing their masks and are socially distant. Before COVID after each set, they would change sides with the other team, but to prevent contamination, they must stay on the one side. Simmons also stated that they have noticed a decrease in fan participation, at first because of the limited amount of fans they could have, but now she thinks that people are afraid to be out and around others being in a confined space. Simmons is looking forward to finishing out her senior year strong. 

     Cross County Senior Jenna Preston said. “The season is going great so far, but thankfully we haven’t run into any barriers related to COVID this season.” Preston also stated, “Since COVID has started, several invitationals were canceled in the fall 2020 season, although none have been canceled this year due to those reasons.  We aren’t required to do anything differently this year due to new protocols; therefore, I don’t miss anything that we did before the pandemic started because I feel that everything is the same as it has always been, including pre-race rituals and other things similar to that.” Preston is looking forward to districts this weekend.

     GM golf Freshman Estella Menc said that the team wore masks on the bus , but it wasn’t a problem for anyone because they were just happy to play. Menc siad, “We were kind of lucky in terms of masking and COVID protocols. Golfers walk around the course alone during matches.  We weren’t required to wear masks while playing since we were socially distanced due to the nature of the game. The GM Golf team was able to participate in all scheduled matches this year despite the ups and downs of Covid, so it was a fairly normal season.” 

   As times have changed throughout the past year and a half, our fall athletes were happy to make it through their seasons and are hopeful for a more “normal” year, without as many limitations.