Rec basketball ends in heartbreak for seniors

Students played basketball at Compo beach to compensate for the loss of rec basketball.

Photo by Ethan Frank ’20

Students played basketball at Compo beach to compensate for the loss of rec basketball.

“Who are you guys playing tonight?” is a common thing to hear among senior boys around the halls of Staples High School. Rec basketball is a staple among Westport youth basketball players and canceling the most important Thursday night of the winter sports calendar for some is a huge disappointment. 

Rec was canceled along with the cancelation of Westport Public Schools. The disappointment is difficult to deal with, and seniors possibly may have played their final official game with one another without realizing it. 

“The cancellation of rec basketball and other winter sports, in general, is a disappointing way to put an end to sports seasons that players have been working so hard for,” Dylan Hruskar ’20 said. “Especially as seniors, this very well may be the last time we all play together and to see it go down like this is heartbreaking.”

Playing pickup at the YMCA most days after school has become a regular occurrence for many rec basketball players, but in the days in which the COVID-19 virus has taken over Westport and the country, those days might not happen anymore. 

It is important to be safe rather than sorry, but not being able to play a sport you love is heartbreaking for players. 

“For me, canceling rec is a huge disappointment,” Blake Lawrence ’20 said. “But something that I think is definitely necessary. COVID-19 is a huge deal and now that it’s allegedly in Westport, I think measures need to be taken, and rec should be one of them.”

Precautionary measures are needed, and many Staples students believe that the decisions made by the school and town administrations are the correct ones, but the disappointment still persists.  On Wednesday, students went to Compo beach, an outdoor location where it is less likely for the virus to spread, in order to continue their basketball playing. 

Additionally, many seniors have proposed the idea of playing rec out of school at the beach with team leaders creating a bracket and deciding on rules for a small tournament to decide a champion. 

It is unprecedented what is happening in Westport and around the world, but it is hard not to think about what could have been for senior athletes.

“I have played Rec for 10+ years and I have never seen anything like this,” Jake Desmarteau ’20 said. “Even though I completely understand the consequences that could come out of playing, it’s still upsetting to me that none of us can participate in the sport we love playing in the most hype month of the year. We really hope March madness can be rescheduled so we can all go for one last run during our last year of high school.”