Article by Grace Catinella ’21:
Over the last 7-8 months, our lives have all been altered in some pretty big ways. One group in particular has been hit especially hard by these changes – our Kellenberg student athletes. With new rules and regulations governing our ways of life, the athletic administration has worked around the clock to make sure our sports teams could still have successful seasons.
Despite COVID-19, the Girls Varsity Tennis Team went through some exciting new developments. New tennis courts have been built across from Nassau Coliseum and the girls moved up to the AA Division. “This season was very different from past years but the energy and excitement for the game was still there,” says Bridget Cody, 21’, a four-year varsity tennis player. “I think the most noticeable difference was not having spectators. Regardless, the whole team really did focus on playing well and having fun.” The season is significantly shorter than previous years, but the team is still in high spirits with the seniors becoming leaders for the younger players and the younger players facing a unique new playing opportunity.
The Boys Varsity Football Team has had their sport greatly compromised. Football is largely a contact sport, but the rules have been altered to a ‘1-Hand-Touch’ system instead of the usual tackling. “Some kids chose not to play now, but to me this part (tackling) is one of the most important aspects of the game,” says Chandler Dalhouse-Osouna, 21’. However, the boys are mostly just grateful that they get to have a season at all.
Girls Varsity Soccer is also dealing with some new changes to their usual routine. Usually, the Lady Firebirds play in around fifteen or so games per one season, but this year the girls only get to play seven games plus an extra two counting as semifinals and finals. Tryouts were also held in September when they are typically held in August. Regular checkups have also been made into a mandatory procedure. “A big difference is before each practice and game, we have to get our temperatures taken to make sure no one has a fever or is sick. On the sidelines when not actually playing or practicing, masks must be worn at all times. We also have to space out a little which is different compared to normally being very close to cheer on the team and support those playing,” says Sarah Carro, 21’.
All of the sports teams that are up and running for the fall season are taking the utmost precautionary measures to ensure safety for all students participating. A great thanks has been given to all the members of the Kellenberg Athletic Department for making such a difficult feat into a reality.