Ossining Pride Powers Through Pandemic

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Katelyn Wasilenko/The Current

Autumn Valdes, Staff Writer

2020 has been quite the year for everyone, but especially for high school students who have all been trying their best to adapt to the constant changes brought by the pandemic. With schools officially reopened, various safety precautions have been incorporated into the daily routines of everyone in the school building. At first, it was questionable whether or not schools were opening at all, leaving many students wondering if they would ever be able to see friends and teachers in-person at school again. Student athletes, in particular, were on edge, as so many of their seasons were postponed or delayed. 

When sports like football and cheerleading had their season postponed, many school athletes and students were upset. When asked about his football season, Justin Santos, a sophomore on the team, admits: “I wasn’t happy when the season was canceled, but I understand that certain things had to happen in order to keep everyone safe.” Although football was postponed until the spring, not all fall sports were called off. Justin explained how he chose to partake in another sport instead, “I chose to do cross country this year because football was canceled and I wanted to do something in order to keep me in shape. I’m just hoping that the rest of the sports seasons can go on as planned.” Since cross country was one of the fall sports which were continuing to carry on, Justin, along with many others, were still able to workout this fall season. Although cross country was still up and running, there were plenty of precautions and new rules all the athletes had to learn to abide by, including facial masks. When asked about face masks, and the strain it can put on an athlete’s overall ability to compete, Justin added, “Wearing a mask was definitely a challenge at the beginning because it was harder to breathe but as the practices continued it became more tolerable as I got used to it.” When asked about her experience with fall sports this season, Charlotte Kane, a sophomore on the junior varsity girl’s soccer team, agreeded with Justin. “It’s kind of hard for me to breathe at times when we’re running, but as we kept practicing more and more it was kind of easier for me to adapt. It’s something you just kind of have to get used to.” Kane voiced. For Kane, who has been playing soccer for 7 years and has played on the high school team for 4, COVID-19 has changed many things but her love and passion for the sport, not included. In fact, when asked about the changes and circumstances of face masks and social distancing, Charlotte explained how she and her team saw it as a chance to work extra hard, “Honestly, I think it pushed me to work harder because now there’s this extra obstacle that we usually don’t have, and we all had to learn how to adapt and get used to it.” Despite so many new and different obstacles this year, the student athletes in Ossining are doing their best to overcome them and still enjoy their season. Lucy Roach, a sophomore on the girl’s varsity tennis team said, This season has really forced us to work with what we have. It actually made me a lot closer to my teammates and [I] couldn’t be more happy.” Lucy Roach, who was named The Current’s athlete of the month in October, has learned to see the bright side of the new changes this year. “I’ve learned better time management and how to motivate people in the hardest times,”  said Roach. When asked about her outlook and mindset for the season this year, Lucy responded, saying, “Staying positive was always a key goal for me but this year I felt as if it was really coming into play.” 

During these uncertain and unpredictable times, teenagers need an outlet more than ever. Even if the circumstances in which sports have been conducted this season are different than in previous years, student athletes are still grateful for a sports season, and continue to push themselves to overcome the obstacles COVID-19 has placed in their way.