By Michael Federico
Recently in the United States, many states have placed stay-at-home restrictions and social distancing guidelines in order to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. This has forced millions of Americans to stay at home, while shutting down all public and private events, including the spring sports season across thousands of high schools in dozens of states.
“Honestly, I thought it was fake and just rumors but when I found out it was real, my heart dropped. I would have never imagined sports being shut down or even canceled,” said a junior baseball player from Fair Lawn High School.
This was the sentiment expressed by many high school spring sports athletes when they learned of the season shut down due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. However, despite the shutdown, which has locked athletes in their homes, many are still motivated to find ways to work out and continue training for their sport.
“I feel more motivated now. I am doing whatever I can to prepare especially since I know that the season is shortened. I want to be ready for the first game,” said a junior baseball player from Bergenfield High School.
That was the unanimous answer from all athletes interviewed. Even though the coronavirus has shut down all gyms, parks, and fields, players are still finding ways to better themselves. Whether it is hitting a ball off a tee into the fence or doing pushups in one’s room, student athletes are still working.
And yet, even with all the work that spring athletes are putting in at home, all will admit it is not the same as being able to train and compete in one’s sport. One of the best parts of high school sports is the bond one builds with teammates and having that taken away has been a difficult reality to face.
When asked about what was missed most, a sophomore baseball player from Bergenfield High school said it was the sense of camaraderie.
“What I miss the most about not having a spring season is not being able to play with my friends and play against good competition,” the sophomore said.
However, seniors who play spring sports are the ones missing out most. For many, this was the last season of their final year to play if they are not playing in college. Others, like a senior baseball player who will be playing in college, said he still misses the atmosphere of high school baseball.
“Leading my teammates is what I miss most about not having a spring season,” said the Fair Lawn High School senior, who is committed to the University of Bridgeport.
While uncertainty looms ahead with the lockdown lasting until at least May 15th in the state of New Jersey, other student athletes are looking ahead to the start of next year’s Fall season and beyond, keeping hopes of getting back on the field in uniform alive.