Winter sports at Concord Academy provide some of the most memorable experiences for many students, acting as places to release stress and energy after a long day at school. The Battle of LCA, competitive games, daily practices, or simply bus rides back to the SHAC are highlights during the cold season. But due to the current pandemic, athletic activities have been modified to fit state-guidelines and keep students, coaches, and their families safe.
During December, CA decided to host practices on Wednesdays and Fridays completely outdoors for squash, alpine skiing, wrestling, and basketball. Based on recommendations from the Concord Department of Public Health, the school physician, and CA’s senior leadership, some practices could possibly move inside, and the Ski Team may be able to train at Wachusett Mountain after winter break. But for now, CA students and coaches are required to maintain six feet of social distancing, sanitize profusely, and wear masks at all in-person events.
Currently, attendance to in-person practices has been very high, and many people are attempting winter sports for the first time simply to surround themselves with other community members. The athletic department has even offered virtual spaces for students who are unable to attend in-person practices. These online meetings have allowed students to get to know each other and learn more about their sport.
Girls Basketball practices at Emerson Park on two adjacent courts. At each practice, roughly thirty-five people show up to practice and work on ball-handling, shooting, and conditioning. While there is a range of skill levels, each player’s ability truly does not matter as everyone is working on their personal progress. Players look forward to getting to know each other and simply enjoy each other’s company.
Abigail Herrmann ’22, a member of the Girls Basketball team, says, “I have really enjoyed playing with everyone over the past few practices. Each practice, I can run around and spend time outside. I haven’t played basketball since last year, so I am still getting used to it, but it’s becoming easier and easier each day. I miss last season but am super excited for the next couple of months to continue to get better.”
Similarly, Ski Team’s typical practice routine changed, mainly because they currently cannot race at Wachusett. However, Annie McGarry ’23 believes that the team has still been successful in supporting each other.“ The season has started off with dry land very successfully with our practices taking us on workouts around Concord and the CA campus,” says Annie. “The team has a lot of great energy and has the same usual motivation and excitement, getting us ready for another great winter.”
Although winter sports may not be as competitive as they have been in previous years, students are making the most of their season by continuing to develop valuable relationships with teammates and coaches. No matter what the next few months hold for CA athletes, it is important for them to find ways to challenge themselves and support their teammates during these difficult times.