By: Cat Carrafiello
A few weeks ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo approved the following sports to resume: basketball, cheerleading, football, hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, and wrestling. These sports were labeled as “high-risk” sports due to being in close contact and indoors during the pandemic. The official season began in early February. The approval is exciting news for New York high schools, players, coaches, and even communities because it is another step in the positive direction for our return to normalcy. Here at Briarcliff, every winter, our school and community look forward to both girls’ and boys’ basketball games. The student section populates, parents sit together cheering on their children, and teachers stand along the sidelines, all supporting the team effort. The excitement is irreplicable in such a small gym.
As a player on the varsity girls’ basketball team, the team atmosphere is something that I have dearly missed. There is no better feeling than having your friends and classmates coming to your game and cheering on the team. I’ve also really missed being with my team and coaches. Last year, our team was really close; we were all friends with each other, and we all got along quite well. That phenomenon is of the best aspects about high school sports: making friends from different grades, and, over the course of the season, becoming a family that has fun on and off of the court.
Even with the high-risk sports starting up, this year’s season is going to be drastically different from previous seasons. The stands will not be filled to capacity with parents, students, and teachers. Spectators, if there are any, will have to socially distance, sitting six feet apart from each other. Players and coaches will be required to wear masks during practices and games. The 2021 season is going to be an unforgettable one, no doubt: the first time in the history of Briarcliff basketball that teams have to wear masks, sit six feet apart from each other, and worry about a deadly virus. This winter season is also the first one that won’t consist of a pre-season, regular season, playoffs, championship, regionals and states. Despite all of the difficulty and restrictions on this year’s winter season, playing any semblance of basketball is better than not playing at all.