Article By: Evan Mirante
With the school year entering its final stretch it can be hard to find things to pass the time until summer. Luckily for students at SRHS, indoor sports are finally allowed, and will begin this month. The indoor sports that are allowed at this time are volleyball, basketball, and badminton. Try-outs are underway for volleyball and badminton, while basketball and wrestling will begin on April 19.
“I’m super excited for our players, especially our seniors,” Said Madison Lott, coach of the boys varsity basketball team. “This has been a trying year for everyone, but these poor seniors have lost more than others. I’m glad they are getting a little bit of normalcy back into their lives.”
Since the season is shortened, teams for these sports will be limited to varsity. That decision was made to comply with COVID-19 protocols and to ensure there is enough space in the gym. Players will be tested before games and all COVID-19 protocols will be in place.
Girls basketball coach, Luis Patrick, said the season will look much different than the past and there are disadvantages, but he is still excited to get back in the gym and start basketball. “Our program is thankful just to get the opportunity to compete and play the game,” Patrick said. “My passion for teaching and coaching is strong and I miss being with the team and I know the team misses the camaraderie.”
Coaches aren’t the only ones that can’t wait to start playing again. Junior Erin Holland, a player on the girls basketball team, said she is “excited and grateful that we are able to have a basketball season and am ready for it to start.” Holland has been working out at home to keep in shape and is taking a basketball elective at school to prepare for the season. Holland knows there is a chance that some games may be cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols, but isn’t going to let that stop her from enjoying the season, even if it means just practicing.
Senior Russell Franklin said that he’s happy for any distraction from distance learning and is excited to start the season. “I was playing AAU (basketball) up until December when COVID restrictions cracked down on tournaments. Now I’ve just been working at America’s Tire,” said Franklin.
Franklin has been playing basketball since third grade and has been on the SRHS varsity team for three years. This will probably be his last year playing basketball since he most likely won’t play in college so he can focus on getting a degree in engineering. When asked about what one thing that he wished would happen this season, Franklin said, “I wish we would have had NCS (North Coast Section) playoffs this year at the end of the season. Making it to NCS three years in a row would have made history for SRHS and I would have been here for all three of those appearances.” Even though playoffs probably won’t happen this year, Franklin and the rest of the basketball team will make the most of the shortened season.
One of the questions that fans have asked about is will there be spectators at the indoor games. The answer is no for now, but there will be a way to watch the games. Patrick said the games will be televised. “Our athletic directors have worked extremely hard for us to get the NFHS Network, which will allow parents and fans to watch games from home,” he said. The NFHS Network airs high school games live and for a small fee allows viewers to watch the game from any device. More information about how to create an account will be given as seasons begin.
Even with no fans and a shortened schedule, it’s great, especially for seniors, that indoor sports will have a season. Hopefully the athletes will go out there and have fun. Go Panthers!