Girls push through Covid induced mid-season pause


Photo courtesy of Christopher Donlon

The varsity girls basketball team take a team photo before the last home game on senior night. Seniors Trinity Hill, Alexa Hackman and Ellie Tan were worried they wouldn’t have a senior night when their season was paused due to covid.

After being put on pause for almost a month, the WJ girls basketball team is finally back in action. On Dec. 16, the team was temporarily suspended from playing games and holding practices due to a Covid-19 outbreak on the team. Following the three week hiatus, the Wildcats were all covid negative and ready to hoop after winter break.
Head coach Christopher Donlon is well aware that the team had struggles after the time off. “It was a little difficult to get back into the swing of things, there was more of a process as all the girls had to get cleared and make sure they had the resources and that they fill out the proper paperwork,” Donlan said.
Taking an extended break away from basketball gave the Wildcats a significant disadvantage, especially with such a heavy game schedule when they returned. “Right when we came back we had four games in 10 days, so we didn’t have a lot of practice time to review plays and practice new stuff,” Donlon said.
Players had to find other ways to fill all the time they had been devoting to the team, they also tried to find ways to stay in basketball shape. The break affected many of the players mentally and physically. Junior Yasmin Gorham was one of the first on the team to contract Covid-19, “As one of the first people to get it, it was hard to watch my teammates play without me and then eventually get shut down,” Gorham said.
“During the break, I really just tried to focus on my mental health and self-care, and also catching up on my school work since I had missed so much time in school,” Gorham added.
Senior Trinity Hill’s mental health was affected as she was upset about losing two weeks of her senior season, but she used it to help fuel her. “[Losing] two weeks of my senior season was upsetting but is was a reminder to stay afloat. I went on runs and did workouts at home, push-ups, planks, squats and more,” Hill said.
Sophomore Kate Kreisle injured herself early in the season but was committed to getting healthy and has been working hard since her injury to get back. Kreisle had been going to practice until the Covid-19 pause and started doing physical therapy after her surgery. “My mom works in physical therapy so I had a lot of resources and I’ve been working hard to get back into basketball shape,” Kreisle said.
The team was dedicated to finding ways to stay united despite being away from each other for so long. “The team did a great job, everyone stayed in touch and was caring and supportive of each other, it really brought us closer together as a team,” Kreisle said.