Club sports postponed until Jan 19 causing disappointment in athletes

Just as the shortened volleyball season came to an end, school was closed, leaving the field house doors locked and the boys’ volleyball season in jeopardy.

Photo by Natasha Taubenheim ’22

Just as the shortened volleyball season came to an end, school was closed, leaving the field house doors locked and the boys’ volleyball season in jeopardy.

Natasha Taubenheim ’22

Every year as the school season comes to an end, athletes focus on the transition from their high school sport to preparing for the next season by playing on a club team.
Within the past two weeks, several Staples students and families have tested positive for COVID-19. Along with the cancelation of in-person school until further notice, it’s unknown what the future holds for winter sports.
While club sports are planning on beginning within the next month, some hope has been lost as the starting date has already been postponed. Governor Ned Lamont recently announced that there will be a pause on beginning club and team sports until Jan. 19. Some people are confident this date will be further pushed.
“I’m just glad we were able to finish our volleyball season before everything was shut down again,” Gabby Messenger ’22 said. “It will be interesting to see how the club season will work if it happens at all.”
Not only will athletes be in close contact with each other but individuals from other towns as well. The increase of exposure is also leading to worry among students enrolled in a club program.
NOVA Volleyball Club is a national program that not only has practice up to three times a week, but frequent tournaments that can go as far as Philadelphia.
“Last year was my first year playing for NOVA. You get to meet girls from other towns which can be really fun,” Messenger said. “As much as I’m excited for this year’s season, I’m a little concerned about interacting with so many people.”
Some people have gone as far as deciding to not play club sports because of concerns about COVID-19. They feel that being able to play on an out of school team is not worth the risk of contracting the virus and exposing other people.
“I decided not to sign up for my tennis club this year,” AJ Cheung ’22 said. “It’s too much of a risk with people sharing water bottles, standing close together, and of course, travelling. At this point, I’m not even sure if the season will happen.”
If club sports were to continue with beginning on the predicted date, there would be many regulations and changes made to the program.
“NOVA has already come out and said that we would have to wear masks at all times, teams would be limited to a certain number of players, and certain tournaments would be taken off the schedule based on the amount of people and their location,” Messenger said.
Other sports, such as softball and sports that can be played outside, have begun practicing for their season. While there is a chance they will be canceled, it is safer to practice outdoors.
“My softball team has been holding outdoor practices,” Ally Currier ’22 said. “We have to be six feet apart at all times and wear masks when entering the dugout and leaving. While this is frustrating, it’s better than not being able to play at all so I really hope we can keep this up.”
While it’s unclear whether club sports will occur, people are hoping for the best. Lucie Nivaud ’22 describes her thoughts on them being canceled altogether.
“I really hope to be able to play volleyball in the off season,” Nivaud said, “but I understand that it’s more important to stay safe.”