By Kaitlyn Aasheim
After almost ten months, Nassau County has set a start date for high school sports seasons to resume in January of 2021.
Coaches and athletes in Oyster Bay are excited about the possibility of sports returning for this school year. Ms. Wink, a physical education teacher who also coaches at OBHS, said, “As a coach of three different teams during the school year, I am excited for the possibility of athletics starting this January. Regardless of start dates and duration of time, I will be grateful to be back on the field and court with my student athletes.”
While many are excited and optimistic about the return of sports, safety is still the top priority in both Nassau County and OBHS. “Although I have missed coaching tremendously,” Ms. Wink shared, “the safety of student athletes, coaches, families, and officials has been, and will continue to be, the priority.”
Many student athletes in the district think sports should return. Yoselin Garcia, an athlete at OBHS, states, “I think that sports should start in January because cases have gone down in our state. Also, our district hasn’t had a breakout of cases, so I think it’s safe. But if the number of cases start to increase before January, then sports shouldn’t start.”
Athletes and coaches across Nassau County are eager to get back to playing sports after the spring season was canceled last school year due to the Coronavirus. Although many students played travel or club sports over the summer, they’re looking forward to playing school sports with their peers.
Garcia states, “I’m very excited to be able to play sports again since we didn’t even get halfway through softball season last year. So, I miss it.”
Although the absence of sports was tough for many people, athletes and coaches found new ways to stay connected during the pandemic.
“One thing I learned last spring was that even when we are distanced, there are numerous ways to connect with the people in our lives. From virtual charades to surprise senior celebrations, we were able to connect in ways we would have never imagined,” Ms. Wink said.
Sports mean a lot to student athletes at OBHS. Marissa Iemmiti, a junior athlete at OBHS, stated, “Practices and games are a way for us to destress after our long day at school. A lot of times, sports are the best part of students' days.”
Many students also love participating in athletics as a way to help their academics. Skylar McEvoy, a senior athlete, said,
“Statistically, sports increase academic performance on tests. When students participate, not only does it benefit them physically, but also mentally. Also, it is a great way to socialize and make new friends.”
Oyster Bay students and coaches are excited for the anticipated return of sports across Nassau County in January.