The Lost Season
By: Lucas Zylstra
“I miss that excitement after class finishes, there's students in the gym or on the field, getting the most out of their experience here at Canterbury,” says Trevor Allen, the athletic director at Canterbury High School. His voice is filled with nostalgia as he reflects on the complete chaos the last ten months has caused for his students and the athletics programs here at Canterbury.
Mr. Allen continues: “I think what this shutdown has taught us is to never take anything for granted." By his tone it’s evident that, like all of us, he is missing the normalcy of our lives pre-COVID. Not only has this pandemic been a massive tragedy in human history, but on a smaller scale, it may have changed the landscape of high school sports for the foreseeable future.
As John Corrente put it, “I think they're losing skill. I think they're losing the ability to be recruited and play at the next level. I think they’re also losing fitness and most importantly, I think they’re losing that drive and motivation that once made them successful.” Mr. Corrente is a Physical Education teacher and head coach of the senior boys basketball team at Canterbury HS.
Mr. Corrente is very concerned that this is becoming a dire situation for student athletes who had dreams of playing at the university level and how this is their last year to prove themselves to potential school suitors.
Regarding the potential return to varsity sports, Mr. Corrente continued, “I think we’d bring back individual sports before considering bringing back any team sports, although I don’t think we’ll be seeing any kind of return to high school sports this year, but instead just let’s just look forward to a regular sports season in 2021.”
This shutdown is a double-edged sword for the high school sports scene, not only does it affect the eligibility of the student athletes for post secondary, but it also affects the coaches and the growth of their programs. Mr. Corrente sums up his feelings, “I was really looking forward to coaching the basketball team this year. I felt like there were some guys on this team that could’ve potentially made it to the university level. To see guys I’ve worked with for multiple years, who I have developed relationships with, to see their last year of high school sports go down the drain, that hurts for sure.” The colour slowly drained from his face, and in that instant I realized how much our teacher coaches care about the athletes at our school.
This global pandemic has taught us all a lot, and in the case of sports, it has taught us to not take for granted all the joy and breathtaking moments sports can provide, even in high school.