Moving the Ball Forward


photo by isaac knutson (12)

The SHS Football team takes the field prior to a competition with Baraboo.

After an unusual year of high school athletics, SHS sports are back and running on a normal schedule. Fall sports are already underway with practices, competitions, and school spirit. Some of the team captains and players have given their statements through virtual and in-person interviews on how the year has been going so far within their teams.

Senior and varsity volleyball player Brooke Thrall shares her opinion on the differences in practices between this year and last.

“I haven’t noticed a huge shift in practices from quarantine slash pre-COVID. The only difference I’ve noticed is that the coaches are more understanding of breaks and such just because it is a lot harder to breathe with masks,” Thrall says. “We don’t do as many cardio-intensive drills, but those weren’t a huge focus in practice prior to the pandemic anyways.”

The craziness of quarantine seemed to take a toll on the students, especially the student athletes. Practices are different than previous years now due to the new mask mandate, and the state of the teams can only be determined by the athletes within them.

One of the major concerns among the upperclassmen athletes was how the underclassmen were going to adjust. For the freshmen and sophomores, these are their first years of high school and as many know, that can be very daunting.

The adjustment from virtual to in-person can be scary, which is why these upperclassmen want the students to know that they see good things in the future of SHS.

“I’m worried that those who aren’t seeing the court much this season are getting discouraged to the point that they feel like they shouldn’t even be on the team. It is such a difficult thing to go through and it is a huge mental battle all-in-all. It can be hard to remember that they made the team for a reason, and I hope so strongly that they can stick it out and keep bettering themselves in practice and every other opportunity that they get,” Thrall says.

COVID protocols for the teams this year are a bit softer than they were last year as the numbers of cases were higher last year, but that doesn’t mean that everything is back to normal.

Senior and co-captain of the Football team Isaac Knutson shares his thoughts on the mandate. “We do our job [to keep masks on]. I mean, most people. Of course we don’t need to wear them outside [for practice], but we have to wear them in the locker room,” Knutson says.

The teams this year have been going over a large hurdle. The students have faced, and continue to face, obstacles that can be overcome together. “Our team is so grateful to be able to have a full season this year. It’s been impactful in both positive and negative ways, but I think the team as a whole would agree that the positives significantly outweigh the negatives,” Thrall says.