The importance of a final winter season for athletes after not finishing in 2020



Noah Robidou, 12, practices shooting at Stockbridge High School. The clock is running out not on the scoreboard, but time for the season. The basketball season starts on February 21st 2021.

Senior Noah Robidou, a varsity basketball player, had been putting in work ever since the end of his 2020 season that was cut short by the pandemic, and he is not wanting to give up his season. His opportunity came at the new year.

“I’m really happy to be able to play again because it sucked not being able to play and finish last year, and it would really suck to not have a last season,” Robidou said. “We won’t ever know how far we would have gone.”

Athletes love to compete, Robidou’s experience is not unlike others, all across all sports student athletes are going through the same thing. 

The COVID 19 pandemic hit all types of students. Who it hit the most in 2020 were senior athletes that lost the end of their season last winter, and their whole spring sports seasons as well. Many of them had to struggle through not being able to be a part of their team one last time, and play the last year they could. Whether it was to score a goal, jump a hurdle, or pitch a baseball or a softball, all of the athletes were devastated. 

“I was really upset because I lost the chance to be a varsity track runner all four years, and not being able to participate in it really made it hard for the following cross country season,” junior Kaitelyn Walker said. 

In these unpredictable times, seniors all across the country weren’t sure if they were going to be able to compete in their last winter seasons, but even if they didn’t know, they all remained hopeful. 

As a varsity starter on her  team, Grace Hall was extremely excited to play in her last basketball season.

“It honestly feels like a weight is lifted off my shoulders now that there’s a chance for a season,” Hall said. During the time she didn’t know if she was going to play, she still worked out and remained hopeful for her last season to be able to take place. 

A big question for athletes was what would their season look like. As of January everything to competitive cheer to basketball, to indoor track is trying to fit in as many games and competitions as possible. Masks will be worn, and social distancing will be enforced, but games will be played. 

“I feel really privileged and special. The administration is really trying to help us keep having our sports seasons back,” senior cross country runner Joy Youngblood.

Some athletes aren’t happy with how things are going currently. Hayley Steinkraus is a fierce competitor when it comes to cheer.

“I am excited to compete in this season but I’m also upset because I know it won’t be the same,” Steinkraus said. 

The community aspect of their sport is gone. Normally in competitive cheer meals are shared and friendly games with other teams are a part of competitions, and that will be nonexistent this year. 

It is unclear if winter sports teams will be able to finish their season. Like the season in 2020 it got cut short for many teams, and this year has been similar with other seasons. 

“I don’t know,” Youngblood said. “I can’t tell the future but I really hope so.” And it’s a good bet all athletes feel the same way she does. 

Many student athletes still think they will have a great season, even if it looks a little different. “Our season will definitely look different from last year,” Hall said. “Not because of covid, but because we all have been dying to get on the court so I feel like every single one of us will push ourselves to the best ability.”

One thing is for certain, all athletes are excited for their season. Hall even mentioned how excited she was.

 “Almost every night I watch film, just so I can feel those game day butterflies again.”