How the Coronavirus is Impacting PDS Athletes

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Compilation of Sports in Celebration of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (Photo/ UNESCO)

Aaron Phogat, Online New Editor

Affecting the community in more ways than imaginable, the coronavirus has now shut down the spring sports season for PDS athletes. Schools started closing, athletic training centers across New Jersey did the same, rendering it impossible for many PDS athletes to have regular training. The original plan was for PDS to return to school and resume practices on April 20th, but with the continual increase in coronavirus cases and a rising death toll, many are speculating that PDS won’t resume school—or athletics—until next school year. 

This comes as a huge letdown to senior athletes who were preparing and training for their spring season. According to senior Amherst D3 Lacrosse commit Jake Bennett, “Honestly the hardest part about losing the season wasn’t the playing as much as the experience. It feels like I’ve been waiting since freshman year to have the experience of being a senior leader and captain. Every year, I can’t wait till spring when I can play the sport I love with my best friends. Also, the past couple of years, we’ve had the opportunity to play in the championship game and I’ve gotten to watch each set of captains accept the trophies on behalf of the team. Doing the same has always been something I have looked forward to and losing that and potentially graduation and prom have definitely been difficult.” Bennett expresses shared emotions across grade levels; from personal experience, the tennis team has been pushing through similar emotions after countless months of training have seemingly gone down the drain. 

The inability to play has also taken a toll on PDS athletes who have already had their season. In the words of senior New York University D3 Soccer commit Riley Felsher, “My team had been training together since early November…we just kept growing as a team the more time we spent together, and now that we’re not even allowed to practice together, it feels like a part has been taken away from me…all other athletes who play on a team sport outside of school will say that that team is like a family to them, and having that taken away is probably one of the worst feelings ever.” PDS student athletes are devastated with their sports, teams, and once in a lifetime experiences being taken away from them.

However, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) released a statement on April 1o that gives spring season athletes a bit of hope. The NJSIAA highlighted that under the assumption that we will return to school this semester, the spring sports season will be extended to June 30th with modified sectional tournaments occurring only if spring sports are allowed to start before May 25th. If spring sports start past that date, then only interscholastic competition will be permitted and no tournaments will take place. This statement gives hope to spring teams, as there is still a chance that our season will be able to be salvaged and not canceled entirely. Although the future is looking rocky and uncertain, there is nothing we can do except hope and stay safe. 

 

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