All the hits, all the plays, all the cheers, and all the sights and sounds that come with high school sports are memories now. And although they are not yet distant, they will always be different simply because they came in a year that was on a new, different level.
But that we had some of this, we are grateful.
A year ago, we weren’t quite sure where we stood as sports fans and participants. We’d already lost the entire spring season to high school sports, a concept that was once ridiculous but, as we horribly discovered, all too real.
And as the coronavirus waves fluctuated, we rode them. We close. We paused. We played condensed seasons, reduced travel, and limited viewers at the same time as we changed some aspects of the games we love.
But even with all that, we had our sports.
How we had those sports is no small thing. And in a strange irony, it took teamwork to get teams to have a season.
Without a doubt, this last year he is one of the sports directors that they will gladly leave behind. Constant emails, text messages and phone calls to coordinate schedules, refereeing and transportation, also for junior varsity and modified sports, required constant vigilance.
Coaches and their assistants came up with ways to practice and play to ensure that the most important part of this equation, our children, could remain safe while still getting the physical activity they need.
And the athletes themselves were fantastic. They paid attention to the guidelines and many seniors took it upon themselves to emphasize the importance of being safe off the field so that their season was not stopped by a mandatory quarantine.
However, even with all these efforts, some were unable to escape. The Palmyra-Macedonia women’s soccer team had to withdraw from the Section V Tournament due to contact tracing and lost their chance to win a sectional title as the No. 1 favorite. Basketball teams in Naples ended their seasons early. Due to contract tracking and the soccer team in Canandaigua had to cancel a regular season game while in quarantine.
On the other side of this coin, there was the possibility of area teams winning Section V titles at their local fields, as the section tried to keep travel and meetings to a minimum.
The Naples men’s soccer team celebrated its first Section V title in 20 years on the local field. The Pal-Mac women’s basketball team won their first title since 2001 at their home court, the Canandaigua soccer team and the women’s lacrosse team won titles at Braves Field, and the Pal-Mac baseball and women’s lacrosse won Section crowns. V at home.
Winning a Section V block is what these kids are looking for every season. Winning it is special. But win it at home? That is downright emotional and something they will never forget.
Of course, this entire season is something we will never forget. It started in the fall with what seemed like a weight loss schedule. Soccer and cross country were front and center while soccer was on hiatus.