Staff View: A Year Later

It feels crazy to say it, but it’s been over a year since COVID forced us into shutdown. For the past year the Paly campus has been mostly silent—no bats cracking, crowds cheering, swimmers splashing, players celebrating—so many sounds that we didn’t notice until they were gone. It took life to return to a semblance of normalcy for us to appreciate how much it means to play the sports we love.

For us as a staff, it’s no secret how much sports mean to us. Many of us are athletes who love to cover the games we know and love, and so this past year has been especially tough finding ways to write stories. Obviously with the existence of a deadly virus, there are more important things to worry about than high school athletics, but as a sports magazine, it’s harder to keep up this attitude. The toll of this pandemic dwarfs the significance of high school sports, but there’s something to be said for tuning out the big picture and living in the moment of your game or practice.

This is especially true when the big picture is bleak. With COVID rates ramping up again in some parts of the country, school reopening plans constantly changing, the long list of assignments on Schoology, the uncertainty of college admissions, the feeling that you’re missing out on the “best years of your life” that you will never get back — the future is scary right now.

The uncertainty and disillusionment about the future make the return of high school athletics all the more meaningful. It’s the little things that remind us of how much we’ve missed normal life. To come to campus and hear the crack of the bat, cheers from crowds, splashes from the pool, players celebrating— these sounds let us forget our feelings of disillusionment about the future and simply enjoy the moment.

It’s hard to put into words how grateful we are for the return of sports, for the return of normal life. Hopefully this return to normalcy will slowly bring us closer together, letting us share these last moments together as a staff and as a school.