BY ALESSIA DE LEO
The Bay’s boys’ basketball team made it to the district finals last season. Sophomore shooting guard Sebastian Martinez said everyone on the team is so passionate about the sport they love and play that not being able to play because of a pandemic has dramatically affected them. He said that COVID-19 took away one of the most fun and enjoyable parts of ordinary life, playing basketball.
“We all just want to get back to playing the sport we love,” Martinez said. “I really miss it, and I just want to keep playing like normal,”
The team has not been able to practice or hold tryouts to recruit new players. The season has not even begun, but as of now, it is difficult to tell if winter sports at the Bay will happen. The team’s coach Jason Looky hopes for some positivity amongst the uncertainty.
“Well, currently, we are in a holding pattern. We hope for some good news soon. As of right now, Winter sports are on hold, and we haven’t received any new information,” Looky said. “I hope in the next few weeks they will give us more information. For now, it, unfortunately, seems to be unclear when the team will be able to start playing like they once did.”
Martinez said, not playing basketball like before has been difficult for most, if not all, players. He said the players miss being with their team, being on the court and playing against other schools, but now that’s all on hold due to COVID-19. He wanted to remain prepared for whenever the season started, so he practiced his basketball whenever possible.
“It’s annoying to be sitting at home all day and constantly thinking about playing basketball,” Martinez said. “Even though we were in quarantine, I still worked and pushed myself to be ready.”
Since it’s difficult to know whether or not the season will start up again this winter, Max Turner said he is taking this time in quarantine to improve. He said since quarantine has gone on for so long, he’s sure that his teammates will come back stronger than ever if they have worked hard during these difficult times.
“Basketball has changed for me because of quarantine. I was able to focus a lot more on lifting and focusing on small parts of my game while at home,” Turner said. “I’ve missed playing real games, though.”
With all the uncertainty surrounding the start of next season, sophomore Blake Mauricette said no matter when the season begins again, it will surely be one that the players, students and staff will remember. Playing with these new circumstances for the first time will impact how the season goes.
“The new normal of day-to-day life is social distancing, wearing masks and not being with big groups of people so hopefully,” Mauricette said. There’s a way this can all be incorporated whenever the new season starts,” Mauricette said.
There is a possibility that the FHSAA could implement new precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 before the start of the new basketball season. Mauricette said playing with a mask could make it hard for his teammates to breathe and that social distancing could be something annoying to deal with since basketball requires some physical contact.
“Even though it’s been hard lately, the basketball grind doesn’t stop, work every day, and get better every day,” Mauricette said. “I don’t care how we have to play; I just want to get back on the court.”