How winter sport athletes are coping in the off season

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Micheal McGrath

Junior Reed Van Ogtrop explains she hopes her 2020 ice hockey season will return to the way it was in 2019.

Emilia Tutun, Sports Editor

This year at WHS, the MIAA shifted the winter sports season start date to December 14, 2020, resulting in a greater amount of off-season time. With all of this extra time, athletes taking part in indoor track, basketball, ice hockey, alpine & nordic skiing, and swimming/diving are preparing for their seasons ahead in various ways. 

Although winter sports were postponed, junior captain Reed Van Ogtrop highlighted how her ice hockey team is using their time off.

“I was a little upset at first since the season usually feels short in the first place. However, now I am just happy they are allowing us to play at all. Now, it gives us a couple of extra weeks to work out more, which seems very beneficial,” Van Ogtrop said. “Since the gyms are closed, and many places do not allow large groups, it has been harder to train as a team, but many people have been training by themselves which is good.”

Like Van Ogtrop, junior Cayla Costa expressed her opinions on her basketball season being shifted to start later. 

“I don’t mind that my season was moved because it gives me more time to practice and get better. I am honestly just thankful that we are even able to have a season,” Costa said. 

With all of this extra time to train, Van Ogtrop explained how the girls ice hockey team is working around the COVID-19 restrictions. 

“Usually we would be having captains practices, and/or free skates to prepare and get back on the ice before the season. However, this year, we are doing smaller group training with a coach at the school,” Van Ogtrop said. “Also, a few of us have been trying to go on a few long runs every week, and sometimes we send workouts to the team, or we train over Zoom.” 

Similarly, the indoor track team is having difficulty finding ways to train. 

“The major difficulty we are having is finding facilities to train at [because] most of the indoor tracks are shut down. When it snows, it will be super challenging to find places to work out,” senior indoor track captain Nate Lathrop said. “Typically, the team works out at Brandeis during the morning, however that track is closed, and we are not allowed to have practices during the winter.”

Although indoor track cannot train indoors, Lathrop explained how he has been training in the off-season. 

“I am getting together with a few of my friends and meeting with my coach to keep training up,” Lathrop said. “Even though I feel like it is difficult to stay on top of workouts nowadays with no meets to look forward to, I find training with others and [having] a coach has benefitted me a lot.” 

Like indoor track and ice hockey who are finding ways to train without facilities, the alpine & nordic ski team is also training even though they do not currently have access to the mountains. 

“This year is my first year doing ski team, and I am really excited to experience being on another team at WHS. Right now, I am gathering my ski gear and trying to work out at the track by doing something that they call dry land workouts to stay in shape. I know others on the team who are also working out, and we are all really ecstatic about the upcoming season!” freshman skier Olivia Rome said. 

Overall, WHS student-athletes seem to be thankful for having a season, and are using their time off to train. 

“Honestly, I think people see the season being shifted back as a good thing because it gives everyone more time to train and workout. A bunch of my friends, including myself, are really appreciative because we thought we were not going to have a season at all,” junior swimmer Ryan Wims explained.