Take a Breath

Kinnelon athletes may finally be able to drop the mask and begin to focus on returning to what they know as normalcy.

For more than a year, athletes across the country have endured what some believe to be the worst year of sports in history. Nearly a six-month stint of a sports-less country left many feeling hopeless, but amazing strides have been made, and many believe that this is the last stretch of a “COVID sports world”.

One of the first sports to start after a rough quarantine was football, which is a staple in high school sports. Many envision high school football as a loud and intense atmosphere with jam-packed stands accompanied by a band. However, football especially has been the closest thing to a ghost town. Silent stands, no music, and empty parking lots are just some of the things that came with a COVID-ridden football season. 

Kinnelon sophomore Liam Parella had something to say about his past season as a positive outlook for the 2021 season. “Last season was really rough for everyone. Practice felt different and so did our games. But this coming season is going to be great if we can return to somewhat of a normal season,” Parella said. 

Athletes are clearly trying to be as optimistic as possible when looking towards the future. Not only have football players experienced this; however, as the soccer team suffered equally as much. 

“We felt very apart to start the season, and this pushed us to become better teammates. We had to go the extra mile to connect with each other to succeed,” Kinnelon senior Nick Ruszala said. “Not only that, but we will never be able to see the changes made after COVID is done, my senior class only experienced pre-COVID and mid-COVID, not post-COVID.”

For the Class of 2022, they will most likely be the first senior class that is able to return to somewhat of a normal life. What they carry with them is the pain endured by the classes before them. They will have to start a new trend of the “post-COVID” life and provide guidance for students to come.