by Clare Tourtelotte, Sports Reporter
photo by Hedi Skali
Before Governor Charlie Baker extended mandated school closures until May 4, softball team captain senior Adalia Rodriguez said that she was hopeful the season could get underway as soon as possible once schools were reopened.
The MIAA met on March 30, after Baker’s decision, and decided to begin the season on May 4, with the last games to be played on June 27. The MIAA also voted to cancel playoff tournaments this spring.
“For anyone who plays any spring sport, that’s a tough loss,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said that sports cancellations have subjected athletes’ futures to uncertainty.
“It’s frustrating because there is just a lot of stuff we can’t control right now,” she said.
The irregular sports season will have a unique impact on juniors who are looking to play in college.
Junior Eero Helenius, who runs all three seasons for South, said that the spring season is essential for setting record times to send to colleges.
“You want to be able to run times that are fast and competitive for colleges so that you can send out emails during the spring. Then, when you apply for colleges in the fall of your senior year, you have a time that you know will help you,” he said. “It’s going to be a whole lot harder to do so [now].”
Helenius said that if the MIAA fully cancels the spring season, his plan to get recruited for college would be drastically impacted.
“I would have to shift my training to really focus on cross country in the fall,” he said.
Sophomore Amanda Hart, who also runs all three seasons for South, said that despite school closures giving athletes more time to train, it can easily ruin athletes’ motivation to improve.
Senior track athlete Sara Modiano said that the hardest part is not having her teammates to support her, both socially and athletically.
“I don’t have anything motivating me beside myself,” she said
Modiano said that her results have suffered because of the situation.
“The late start to the season is definitely making it harder to progress as much as I would,” she said. “I’m not running with other people to motivate me as much to go faster every day.”
Freshman softball player Mia Patel said that the MIAA’s decision to postpone the season was illogical.
“There’s a need to stay safe and prevent the spread of [COVID-19], but this is not the way to do it,” she said. “Softball is not really much of a contact sport. … Since you’re outside playing, it’s difficult to pass on the disease.”
Hart said that a way to salvage what’s left of the season could be having sports start the day students get back to school.
Rodriguez said she is hopeful about what’s left of the spring season.
“Coming back to school, everyone’s going to be excited. I think there’s going to be energy in the air because everyone’s been cooped up. … Everyone wants to go out, play and be competitive once again,” Rodriguez said. “Once the season is underway, I’m ready to go.”