Fall Sports Amidst the Pandemic: Adapting Athletes

Sports this fall look a little bit different and have required athletes to adapt to the new COVID safety precautions. Read on to learn about these rules and what they look like from a game side perspective.

Article and Photography by Samantha Milewicz

While the fate of the fall season is unknown due to the recent COVID cases, precautionary rules put in place to protect everyone have altered the game experience for athletes and spectators alike. At all times, athletes are required to wear masks. When they are not playing, they are required to socially distance by at least six feet. There is a one person to one seat rule for buses, and mask breaks can only be taken when athletes stand twelve feet apart. As for spectators, only two people per player are allowed and only at home games. All of these precautions are to ensure the safety of our athletes and those of other schools. 

I spoke with juniors Sydney Levy, girls varsity tennis player, and Beth Corelli, girls varsity soccer player about what their thoughts are on the season so far. When asked, “What was your initial reaction to having to wear masks to play and how has that changed?”, Sydney responded, “I thought it would be a challenge but was still very excited that we were going to have a season.  I have gotten more used to wearing a mask as the season has progressed.” Beth added that “ I couldn’t comprehend having to run up and down a soccer field while being restrained by a mask.” Although it was a shock, it seems as though most athletes have adapted to this rule and understand it is vital for keeping themselves and others safe.

Recently, the fall season came to a halt due to a COVID outbreak within our high school. At this moment, it is unknown whether sports will resume play when we come back to school or if the season will end altogether. Sydney is “trying to stay hopeful that sports will resume, as I would be very excited to get back out on the courts,” while also commenting, “We have had a great season so far, and I hope to continue it!” Beth on the other hand is not as confident that play will resume: “As soon as the first case arrived at Byram, the entire school ceased in-person instruction and all sports came to a screeching halt. In my opinion, this virus isn’t going away anytime soon and we need to learn how to practice prudence when going about our everyday lives.” Although these players may disagree about the future of the fall season, one thing all athletes, coaches, students, and parents can agree on is that following the cautionary regulations is even more crucial now than before, especially if there is hope for the season to continue.

Beth Corelli (Junior) shields the ball from John Jay defender. 

Alexa Jindal (Senior) sprints with the ball upfield with two John Jay defenders on her back.

Sydney Nichols (Sophomore) prepares to send a long ball upfield in the game against John Jay Cross River.

Gaby Colabello (Junior) chops the ball right as she has defenders coming at her.

Sydney Levy (Junior) returns a serve in her match against Harrison.

Alyssa Margolin (Junior) hitting her wicked serve in her first singles match against Harrison.

Craig Buonanno (Senior) fights John Jay midfielder for the ball. 

Ross Eagle (Junior) puts the ball on his left foot after faking out John Jay defender.

Morgan Maniscalco  (Junior) goes head to head in a fight for the ball in the game against Pelham.

Izzy Sampere (Sophomore) protects the ball from a Pelham defender as she brings it upfield.