A comeback season of cancellations


Fiona Serifov

As sports are in their winter season, COVID-19 creates interference with practices on behalf of ACHS athletes.

Despite some students believing that COVID-19 is not as drastic as it had been in the past, cases have risen, causing cancellations. 

As the second semester begins, COVID-19 and the different variants have begun to spread quickly through the student body. Due to this issue, many Antioch Community High School athletes have been testing positive, rendering them unable to participate in athletics. With the decline of participating athletes, ACHS teams are struggling to practice and compete. 

The ACHS varsity cheer team ran into this problem within the past couple of weeks. With the influx of positive cases, they decided to continue practicing online via Zoom for a couple of days. Recently, the team has started in-person practices again. Junior varsity coach and alum Jadda Pope saw firsthand how not having all members affected practice.

Having team members out was hard because cheerleading has so many group components in the routine; if someone is missing it is hard to practice full out,” Pope said. 

ACHS cheer was not the only sport affected by having players unable to practice. ACHS wrestling has been impacted by the virus, having to take more precautions as a close contact sport. Freshman varsity wrestler Ben Vazquez noticed how the virus has affected this season.

“Players are receiving less time on the mat due to going too far meets and forgetting about the mask policy, along with the exposure to unvaccinated people, which spreads the virus from the opponent,” Vazquez said. “When an athlete is in quarantine, they lose time on the mat, opening spots on the team during dual meets.”

Student-athlete quarantining causes an effect within the teams. ACHS varsity basketball players were struck with cases, and complications arose. At the beginning of the basketball season, tryouts were postponed due to the spread of the virus. Varsity coach Sean Connor gave every athlete the opportunity to get tested and be at their best. So far, the basketball team has yet to shut down or take a pause on their season, but they have faced challenges. 

Recently, we had five members of our program test positive this past weekend, [causing the] sophomore team to [reduce] to 9 players because of COVID and injuries,” Connor said. “This weekend hit us very hard, losing four players and two coaches due to quarantine.”

These viruses created a mentality of perseverance throughout athletes’ seasons. Junior Ethan Kolloff, varsity basketball player, noticed positive and negative outcomes from his experience.

“It was kind of just a heads-up mentality, we knew we would get players back eventually,” Kolloff said. “COVID sucks as an athlete because you could get shut down at any time, and it’s not like high school is endless.”

However, athletes have learned from their struggles and have been able to take important lessons from being impacted. Emma Kolloff, varsity cheerleader, was affected by the virus, causing her to open her eyes about being an athlete during COVID-19. 

I feel that it takes away the full experience of your sport and the joy that comes with it,” E. Kolloff said. “Games, meets and competitions are constantly being canceled with something we can’t control, and as athletes, it sucks.”

As this year continues, ACHS athletes are still as passionate as ever about competing and playing their sports. They are overcoming all obstacles that are presented and are becoming stronger than ever.