Distanced, but United: Friars Play On to Fall Season Finishes

     Since March 13, 2020, it has been impossible to escape the effects of COVID-19. But that does not mean that our Fenwick athletics teams have not been making the most of it. As we approach our third full month in school, the different rules and modifications the IHSA has made remain in place, and as fall sports wrap up, the teams are given the chance to reflect on their unique seasons.

     The Girls’ Tennis Team was able to enjoy their season this fall, but not without some significant changes for safety. Even the most simple things were different. For example, each team had to bring their own tennis balls and they were to be changed following each change of serve, and they had to use their rackets to pass the balls to avoid any sort of contact. The girls practiced social distancing and wore masks while not playing.

     While it was upsetting to not be able to welcome any spectators, the girls embraced this situation, living by the motto of “distanced but united.” Senior Caitlin Brady reflected on her final season: “It was so great to be able to be out there playing!” Despite their state tournament being cancelled, they still have a competitive sectional to participate in and we wish the girls the best of luck in doing so!

     The Boys’ Golf Team was also able to participate this fall as they typically would in a regular school year. While the boys had to follow the same social distancing guidelines as the rest of us, their season was decently ordinary other than that. Senior Jake Wiktor shared some of these changes: “For golf it has been pretty regular; the only two major changes are that the flag sticks have to stay in no matter what, and less teams and individuals can qualify for the next stages in the postseason.” Despite these changes, Wiktor added, “Other than that, it’s been pretty smooth.” Obviously, the season has been going smoothly for Jake, as this North Carolina State commit was also recently named athlete of the month! The boys finished off their season placing second at sectionals behind St. Ignatius as seniors Jake Wiktor, Jake Owens, David Hoban and Brian Moore played their final rounds of golf as Friars.

     Cross Country has also gotten in on the fun as they too were able to have their own socially distant season this fall. Their protocols include always showing up with their masks on as well as getting their temperatures checked prior to each practice or gathering. Masks did not have to be worn while running as long as everyone remained socially distanced. The team has been doing an excellent job of keeping up with these rules as they realize how important they are.

     “It’s going well. We follow the rules very well which makes us happy” reflects Senior Caroline Darrow. “None of us take it as a joke. We have all taken the precautions needed so we can make it through our season.”

     The team has been able to be competitive at both dual meets as well as invites, and the runners are grateful for every opportunity that has come their way this season.

     This year is a once in a lifetime situation but also an opportunity for growth, and these teams have proven that by becoming stronger and better athletes–even in these adverse conditions–and by staying safe at the same time.