Many athletes have a bittersweet feeling as the Concord Academy fall athletics season comes to a close. For seniors in particular, who have had to end their fall athletics career with a modified season due to the pandemic, feelings have been mixed. Here, I interviewed Angie Minichiello ’21, one of the captains of girls varsity field hockey, about how the modified season has been going.
For Angie, the season “has been so positive and wonderful.” Despite the fact that we’re in the midst of a pandemic, she is still thankful that the team is able to play together. According to Angie, “the vibes of the season have been super positive and uplifting, which makes the season even better.”.
Despite this, Angie admits that the restrictions due to COVID-19 have hindered some of the team’s progress.“The ability for the team to function as a unit in the field [is limited], since we are still unfamiliar with plays which we would have been usually familiarized with by our first game.” Teams at this time are not allowed to compete, and according to Angie, “that is the main challenge. It’s hard to recreate the competitive environment that exists when playing against other teams.”
Though the situation at hand may not have been ideal in terms of skill-building, Angie still feels that the team is very connected. “I think our team is still really well-bonded,” she says. “And it looks to me like everyone is unafraid to be their genuine selves, which to me, is the one of the most important parts of a team. I do think we have done our best to do so given the circumstances.”
As for her experience of being a captain in general, Angie had nothing negative to say. She enthusiastically shared, “I have enjoyed being a captain! I really like bringing enthusiasm to practice because it brings me joy to be enthusiastic during a sport I love. I also have enjoyed doing the behind-the-scenes communication work, because I’m a person who likes doing not only direct communication with the team, but also communication and work with coaches about team gear.”
Though it is a disappointment to not compete and be able to consistently improve the team’s skills, this is not what matters most to Angie. When asked about what her favorite aspect of field hockey is, she said, “The team! I mean, I also love the sport so much, but there’s something special about the field hockey team. It’s always such a positive environment and so supportive, and that’s something that is dear to my heart.” She hopes that while the season comes to a close, that the team can stay as “good and enthusiastic an environment” as it always has been.
Though the pandemic has brought some challenges to all players and coaches, there is still a positive and supportive environment, which is what makes all CA teams so special. “I would like to say thank you to the whole field hockey team for making this strange season such an awesome one,” Angie concludes.