How It Feels To Be Back In Sports And How Sports Are Different This Year


Samantha Ramirez, Herald Staff

During the pandemic, things have changed in so many ways. The changes to the sporting environment have been immense and have affected a lot of people. Athletes last year at HHS had a very different sports experience due to the pandemic. Things have been new and different for the students who played sports this year and last year and it must be tough for them to adjust to all of these factors. 

David Sicard, a Junior at Holyoke High School North Campus, who is a wide receiver for the Holyoke High Football Team, said “it’s great to be around the team again and to be back playing football like a family.” A lot of sports players can relate to what he said because it is great to have that feeling of being around your teammates doing what you love. There was a period last year when sports were postponed and for Sicard it was the first time he was not actively playing sports. He felt really isolated during this time and it led to him feeling thankful for the opportunities football and sports give him. Jake Swindell, a Junior at Holyoke High School North Campus who is a kicker for the Holyoke High Football team, stated that it “feels good to have normalcy.” The stressful times surrounding the COVID pandemic show that having sports again is very positive and is a way for sports players to have fun and escape from the reality of the situation.

Sports are an important part of the lives of many people. Athletes must have felt terrible last year when they could not play sports for an extended period of time. Kyle Lippman, a Senior at Holyoke High North Campus who is a striker for the Holyoke High Soccer Team has been playing soccer since he was four years old and he continued to play all throughout high school. For Lippman, it was boring without playing soccer and he is happy that he is able to play again. To spend all your life playing sports and then for that to suddenly be taken away must be a struggle. I cannot even begin to imagine what Lippman and other students who relate to him must have felt during the pandemic. Everything happening around the world last year was new to everyone. We were isolated, had to adapt to a new way of learning, and on top of that, sports and extracurricular activities were taken away. This is completely understandable because it was done to ensure the safety of the students. However, it was still unfortunate for those individuals.

Sports this year are being played safely, which is important to ensure because of the pandemic. For outdoor sports it is not required for anyone to wear a mask including the people watching because you are outside. However, when inside the building or on the buses it is required to wear a mask and follow the protocols. For indoor sports, there is a mask requirement for everyone. The school is doing a better job at keeping sports safe for everyone. Students having the ability to play sports again and do what they love is fantastic. I hope it stays that way for them because of the many opportunities they get while playing sports.