The Future of Winter Sports

Berkshire League Winter Sports Postponed Due To The Spike of The Coronavirus

The life of Shepaug student athletes has drastically changed, coming back to school full time this past August. This year has brought many changes into the students’ everyday lives and made them adapt to a new school environment but this also had a major impact on the fall and winter sports. When we got the “okay” to play by the CIAC there were many guidelines that we were told we had to follow and some of these included wearing face masks when in groups, social distancing, staying more than 6 feet apart when not wearing masks and not sharing your own sports equipment with someone else. These changes have all had to roll over into the winter sports seeing as though we will now be playing inside. The growing concern about playing sports inside has caused the postponing of the winter season until January 19th. This wasn’t the only reason that has caused the postponing of the winter season, another reason was the fact that the covid numbers are increasing drastically because it’s that time of year where everyone gets sick. They wanted to take extra precautions because our safety comes first.

When Mr. Perachi was asked if he minded the season being postponed, he stated “Do I mind it?, well I would rather be in sports right now. The fall season went a lot longer than normally, which took away the ability to have a two-three week break. I was okay having a little bit of a break between because if they would have started when they normally do, we would have gone right from one season to the other without any kind of break. But we have had a couple of weeks now and I personally am truly missing Shepaug Sports. It’s disappointing that we still have a month and 10 days which is still a whole 41 days before we are going to be allowed to start.” Mr. Pearchi is very disappointed because he loves sports and watching Shepaug sports. He says it’ll be very interesting to have Christmas break and New Years without sports when that is typically a hectic time.  “This is a time where you are trying to spend time with your families and when you’re trying to balance it out with sports but then again now it’s pretty difficult to spend time with your family because you are not supposed to get together. I’m disappointed that we’re going to have such a huge layoff and such a big postponement, but at the same time I totally understand why they’ve had to do it.” Mr. Perachi continues to be understanding because he is aware of the safety and health concerns. “I’m optimistic. I try to remain  as optimistic as I was going into fall. I can’t tell you the number of people who said, “You’re never going to play, it’s never going to happen and they won’t allow it.” But we had a great fall season. From the previous fall season, Mr. Perachi has had experience with handling sports during Covid. He was able to get the fall athletes outside and play against other teams in the Berkshire League. Because of this, he has hope for the winter season. “Obviously things have changed and numbers have gotten worse since then. We’re going from outdoor sports to indoor sports, which changes things a lot, and we have the holidays to worry about. Scientists are predicting that the middle to the end of January is going to be the peak of this Covid spike, all that stuff concerns me but I still have to be an optimist.  I have to be because if I think negatively and  if I get it in my mind that there is going to be no winter sports it is going to be depressing for me. Athletic directors know they have to have a positive outlook on the winter season and try to do everything they can to push for this season. I also think that there’s going to be a lot of different Covid mitigation strategies and ways to try and prevent Covid from being easily spread through our winter sports. I’m confident that those are going to help and hopeful that everyone’s going to do the right thing.” Mr. Perachi hopes that we are going to come back from Christmas break without a big spike continue in-person learning.

Mr. Pearchi was asked if he thinks masks will be beneficial during the winter sports season. He answered “the main concern is trying to flatten the curve. I’m going to look at basketball because  I’m a basketball person and I know that that’s going to be the main one where they’re wearing masks. Obviously in swimming you’re not going to be wearing masks.” A few months ago, Mr. Perachi was in an athletic director meeting and he said “In Illinois they are doing it. A local newspaper somewhere near Chicago, kids have been playing basketball with a mask for a few weeks and they said the first couple times we did it, it was awful. But after a while they said that they don’t even notice it anymore and the comment was made that we’d rather play with a mask instead of having no season at all. Mr Pearchi is very understanding and patient throughout the winter season being postponed and he is trying his best to be optimistic and maintain a positive mindset.

From the point of view of two student athletes, we have come to the conclusion that they are very upset by the postponing of the winter season.

Riley Guilbeault stated that when the news was broken that the winter season was postponed it was very saddening to hear because he really thought this year was his teams year and that they were going to make it far. When Riley was asked “Do you think masks will be beneficial to play winter sports inside?”, he responded “Yes, I do think masks will be beneficial but I am unsure how it will work considering basketball is a very fast and uppace game.”

From the point of view of Brooke Donaghey who’s favorite sport takes place in the winter season she was very upset when the news was released. “I play basketball in the winter so it has made me very upset that it has been postponed also because it is my senior year. I would like to play for the last time with my teammates and it would be disappointing if I could not play in our last year together.” Brooke stated that she is trying to have a positive mindset on if we will have a season or not but with the covid numbers rising in the area lately she is uncertain that we will have a season. When Brooke was asked “How will you make up for the time loss?” She said she and her team will practice hard and put in extra time to makeup for the postponed season and fewer games.