PSAL players make the best out of cancelled spring season

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In an unprecedented situation, the spring season, meant for practices, games, and bonding, has been replaced by a quarantine order that will be active until at least May 15. Perhaps the most hard-hit by this situation in the Townsend Harris sports community are the seniors, who had their wishes of a farewell season cut short. Regardless of the adversities and unfortunate circumstances, seniors are still determined to bounce back by finding ways to adapt and make the best out of the situation at hand.

The seniors and their respective coaches are understandably upset by the outcome of this season, however they refuse to be defeated. Many seniors are trying to move on and stay in shape. Senior Vivian Chen of the girls’ wrestling team stated that she is “working out at home and getting the exercise through home workouts”. In addition, while discussing the possibility of goals she set for herself in the new offseason, she said, “Some new goals I plan on setting are just learning to exercise on my own and to motivate myself… Since I’m graduating this year, I felt that it was important to learn how to work out myself and motivate myself.” Despite her proactivity to the adversity however, Vivian still can’t help but hope that “something does change with COVID-19 and that spring sports magically come back.” 

Senior Noah Pearlstein and math teacher Kevin Claesgens, captain and coach of the boys’ tennis team, respectively, find that though the events had hit their team hard, they remain positive for the future. Noah stated, “The cancellation of the spring season has been extremely tough. I felt as if we had a real chance to compete … Though, I am hopeful that the underclassmen can carry the torch.” Mr. Claesgens feels that the experience has reminded all athletes of what it means to represent the team to the best of their ability in every game. “If anything, hopefully, this will make other guys on the team [and other THHS athletes] more grateful and appreciative of the fact that they are able to compete and be a part of a team,” said Mr. Claesgens.

Many seniors are also taking this time to reminisce on their growth over the last four years. Senior Elizabeth Brandwein of the girls’ fencing team said,  “I’ve grown a lot honestly. I fenced for the first time in freshman year, and … since then, I’ve been training as hard as I can and slowly climbing the national ladder. I owe everything to the Townsend Harris fencing team.” 

Similarly, senior Calvin Tan of the boys’ volleyball team stated although the recent events had ended his season aspirations and hopes, “turning from a scrawny freshman when I first tried out to someone who understands and appreciates the game makes you become grateful for the journey you’ve taken.” Calvin was also quick to heap praise for his teammates and Coach Caiaccia, who taught him the game had grown to appreciate in the past three years.“The best part about being a player on this team is you are in it with a group of guys who show the same love for the game,” said Calvin. “When we constantly push each other to be greater, each practice and game becomes a surprise.” 

Despite these setbacks, seniors, and other athletes alike, have made light of this adversity and still strive to grow. They remained prideful that in the past 3 years, they were still able to form team experiences, fond memories, and achievements. As senior Savannah Sclafani of the Flag Football Team noted, “Football taught me to find my voice, to be assertive, to face any challenge head-on, and to rise up, even from the bottom, to reach the top.” 

Picture courtesy of Katrina Dydzuhn & Joshua Vieira, photography editors.