Despite the challenges brought up by COVID-19, the IACS Athletics Department has managed to run a majority of its usual sports with the exception of swimming. This year, IACS offered an interscholastic season for basketball, and intramural seasons for indoor track and field, cheerleading, and archery.
Athletics Director Nolan McKinnon wanted to offer an athletic season because “It’s been one heck of a year. There’s lots of people that are going through lots of different things, and part of that is not being able to spend time with friends or having anything resembling normal activities that they would do. We felt that it was important to, while obviously following the rules and being as safe as possible, get kids an opportunity to be once again involved with their peers. We really wanted to give them that outlet and opportunity to have fun, and not have to think about everything that has been going on, which has been hard to do.”
McKinnon also expressed his gratitude towards students, families, coaches, and IACS administration for working together to make the season work.
Senior Delaney Brown, captain of the girls’ varsity basketball team, described the team’s season, saying, “It’s really not bad. The majority of our team is freshmen. We have two seniors, two sophomores, and five freshmen, because we only have 9 on our team, but there’s only 3 that are returning from last year and most of the new people have never played before. It’s been pretty fun getting to work together with people we haven’t worked with before and learn how they play, and work together as a team.” With the modifications to the season, Brown learned to “play a little less aggressively because you can’t touch other people as much or else it’s almost an automatic foul.”
According to Senior Jack Benoit, “Covid protocols changed everything… from the way we practice to the way we compete.” He also noted that it was “hard to get a team together with all the protocols, and coaches are getting the most of it.” The team had a lot less people and a majority of the team is composed of underclassmen.
Competing with a mask has made performing well a challenge for athletes. Benoit recalled one of his races, saying, “I raced a 1K, and in the first half, I came through cruising, but then, the mask got me in the second half.” On masks and performance, McKinnon said, “I honestly thought that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but, oh gosh, it is a big deal. I’m proud of those athletes for putting up with it. I don’t know, if I was playing, how well I would have done at that.”
The boys’ varsity basketball team will have their senior game on Monday, January 8, at 4 PM. The girls’ varsity basketball team will have their senior game on Tuesday, January 9, at 4 PM. Both games can be streamed online.