Many sports have been canceled or delayed by Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) due to COVID-19. For some senior athletes, COVID-19 related sports cancellations came as a “big blow” as they hoped for college scholarships and one last chance to play.
CPS indefinitely postponed high school sports in December due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in Chicago. They have yet to announce a restart date for sports.
A member of Girls Basketball, Charleen Necor ‘21, said some skilled athletes may have missed important chances for future athletic careers in college.
“I know a lot of players that have possibly lost opportunities for scholarships that are for recruitment things like that because of our cancellation,” said Necor.
On top of that, seniors said they are not happy due to a lack of information over the status of their seasons if their season hasn’t been canceled.
“We haven’t really been told anything besides what’s been in the news, and even our coach doesn’t know much,” said boys soccer player Gianrobert Pinto ‘21.
The constantly changing state of the COVID-19 plans is stressful on these seniors, as they still don’t have a clear answer about the status of their seasons.
“I’m pretty sure like me, the rest of the team would much rather have someone just tell us like ‘oh you’re not going to have a season’, and just be upfront, instead of having to keep wondering and being led on and have new news come out and give us false hope, and it’s a little frustrating,” said Pinto.
But one of the most impactful things about this delay for senior athletes is not being able to practice with their team.
“I think that the other seniors are kinda in the same boat as me,” said boys swimmer Devin Otto ‘21. We miss our team, all of us, and the great part about swimming was going through it together with your team.”
Many seniors were making plans for their final year as a high school athlete to enjoy their last chance to compete with their team.
“I think senior year was gonna be the year that I tried not to stress as much about swimming. I was just gonna try to have fun and be with my team,” said Otto.
This feeling of losing the team translates across all sports, especially the more team-focused sports like soccer and basketball.
“What I miss most about soccer is, I think, just like being outside and just being around my teammates. You know, like, outside of also just competing,” said Pinto. “I like to compete and I like to play, but also like to do it alongside people that, you know, I can have fun with and that I could enjoy being around.”
However, in the end, some seniors still accept these circumstances, as COVID-19 makes it impossible for these sports to be conducted safely.
“Personally, I’m okay with not having a season because I understand how scary this pandemic is,” said Necor. “I don’t want anyone to feel responsible for other people getting sick because even though people usually don’t have bad effects from COVID, there are certain things that have happened. I don’t want to put my family in here and things like that so I understand why.”