PDS Sports Are Coming Back This Winter!


Senior Josh Colon plays basketball during a pre-COVID practice. (Photo/PDS Flickr)

Eshaa Doshi, Staff Writer

After much anticipation, winter sports seem to be happening at PDS this year! This winter was set to be a great one, after the Boy’s Ice Hockey team’s electric win over Lawrenceville last year and the completion of the illustrious fieldhouse; however, due to recent surges in the coronavirus, there was some panic about winter sports halting until the 2021-22 school year. It appears, though, that sports are still on for this winter, albeit being pushed back after the break due to safety precautions taken by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). 

Currently, the NJSIAA has said that ice hockey and squash are set to start practicing on January 4, while competitions for those two sports will begin on January 15. Basketball and fencing practices are to start on January 11, with competitions beginning two weeks later on the 25. However, these decisions are not set in stone and, as PDS Assistant to Athletics Emily Shircliff noted, the “situation is so fluid because of the COVID surges.”

Despite these struggles with logistics, our athletes are excited for their seasons. Seniors Josh Colon and Ethan Garita are looking forward to the opportunity to play basketball with the Day School team one last time. Garita mentioned that the team is “really anxious and ready to get in the gym as it’s been hard for us these past few weeks not being able to workout with each other as a team but overall we’re ready for this season and I can’t wait to get back in the gym with my brothers after winter break.” Colon is also staying optimistic about the future of this team’s season, stating that “we still don’t know anything for certain as of now, but we are just trying to stay optimistic about the season as a whole and taking it one step at a time.” 

Junio Elle Anhut, who plays for our Girl’s Basketball team, is excited as well but is a little concerned about the fate of the season with PDS’s current policy surrounding outside sports. She plays winter lacrosse outside of school and said that “not going back into school to learn [in person] but still playing for the team is probably going to feel a little weird.” Overall, though, it seems like our basketball players are looking forward to getting back on the courts!

The Boy’s Ice Hockey team is also excited to just get back on the ice and have fun with their teammates this winter. Senior captains Gibson Linnehan and Drew McConaughy are looking forward to playing on the famous Lisa McGraw rink for one last ride with their team. Linehan noted that their team’s season looks promising, with “a good mix of upper and underclassmen to make an impact this year.” McConaughy offered a slightly different perspective, with disappointment about the no-spectator policy enforced this year due to safety precautions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that he wants “students and fans to be able to watch our games and get excited too since there is very little school spirit right now.” Ideally, we’ll be able to come and watch all of our athletes’ games as soon as it’s safe, though.
Junior Lauren Frank also had some insight on our fencing team’s outlook on their season this year, while missing an old tradition. She said that the team is “excited for winter sports but will definitely miss some things from the last seasons. Every year we go to a state-wide tournament which is always super fun, and we have a tradition of getting Panera after, but sadly I don’t think that’s going to happen this year because it’s a huge gym with around 40 schools so it’s not very COVID friendly.” 

Finally, Sophomore Devan Sakaria is looking forward to spending time outside of zoom to play squash at the new fieldhouse with his teammates. He said he’s been “virtual since October because I’ve found it works better for my schedule and time management, but now I’m really excited to go back and play squash. It’s going to be nice to see kids I haven’t seen in months and be part of the team again, so I’m really glad winter sports are happening even if it’s a lot less than what it would normally be.” 

Overall, although their seasons will be a little different this year, our athletes seem to be pumped for the season and ready to come back to sports! Good luck Panthers!