How COVID-19 Has and Will Impact GDS’s Athletics Program

COVID-19 has halted nearly all professional and local sporting events, including high school athletic programs. Georgetown Day School, along with every other high school in the country, missed out on a full spring season of sports. Teams such as the women’s lacrosse team and men’s baseball team aren’t able to have a 2020 season. Graduating seniors have lost their last ever high school sports season.

Sports are not only a fun and competitive aspect of high school, but also a time to bond with peers and build a sense of community. Missing out on that opportunity has left students frustrated and devastated as COVID-19 has stripped them of yet another activity that provided excitement and joy.

Although seniors also missed out on their last season as a high school athlete, some students are making the best of the situation. Senior varsity track runner and Haverford commit Oliver Satola said, “If anything, this season gave me time to focus on my sport. I had more time to put into running, doing harder workouts and running higher mileage.”

Satola also said that although he had the time to train more, he missed the sense of motivation and community the track team provides. “What I missed the most was my team. Being around others that care a lot about their sport is what gave me the motivation to keep grinding when the going got tough.” Satola acknowledged that these are difficult and unfortunate times, but urged students to keep working on their sport.

“These cancellations take their toll on the experience of the student athlete,” he said. “We are robbed of some of the best experiences of our lives. If you are a student athlete reading this, stay strong and keep at it. Think about practice like putting money in a bank: Some day, you’ll get on the field, out [onto] the track or the court and, by God, you will get to make some epic withdrawals.”

Luckily for every other grade, there will most likely be a spring season next year. 

Sophomore Max Burns, a varsity baseball athlete, plans on staying in shape and continuing his offseason training with a dynamic and intense workout plan. Every day, he does either cardio or weight and speed training. “I do a Taylor [GDS P.E. teacher]-style workout followed by running four suicides,” he said.

For now, uncertainty looms for the 2020-’21 school year as well as the sports seasons. David Gillespie, GDS’ athletic director, says that nothing is certain yet. “I can tell you that I have fully scheduled games, matches and meets for the fall athletics season in hopes of things improving,” he said. “I have also been meeting with the ISL and MAC Athletic Directors regularly to discuss next year’s athletics and GDS is in the process of putting together an Athletics Committee to come up with some scenarios and look at the options for next year.” 

Gillespie and all of the student athletes are hopeful that there will be no delays to the start of the 2020 athletic year.