High School Sports: How Have They Changed?


Photo Source: Mac Cerullo of the Newburyport Daily News

Matthew Beaulieu, Writer

In recent months, high school sports have been transformed into something entirely foreign. For almost a year here in the United States, the Covid-19 pandemic has put a drastic spin on all of our lives. It feels as if almost everything has been changed or altered and nothing will be the same. While the world is going through what is now considered the “new normal,” workplaces, restaurants, public places, events, all the way down to high school sports have been changed to fit state guidelines to keep everyone safe during these times.

Specifically, high school sports have had a variety of changes made to them. From having to cancel or postpone some sports, to just having to wear a mask, there have been a multitude of changes made to keep everyone in good health here in the Pentucket district. There were a number of different opinions on what Pentucket has to offer during these difficult times, yet most seemed to be satisfied with what the MIAA and the athletics department have concluded. 

With the new guidelines in place for this upcoming Fall II Sports season, there are a number of ways that coaches, players, and parents plan to adapt to these circumstances. In an interview with Keith Sherman, coach of the  Pentucket track, indoor track, and cross country, he stated, “As long as we [coaches and athletes] adhere to the safety guidelines, look out for each other, and focus on the task at hand [of becoming better athletes] this season will not differ from others.” The MIAA, Pentucket Athletic Association, the school committee, along with many other people, have pulled many strings to get Pentucket and its athletes not only a Fall II Season, but as normal of one as possible.

According to Pentucket athlete Olivia Bartholomew, who participates in the softball, cross country, and indoor track teams, the most difficult changes that have been made to sports this year is the implementation of masks. “It feels as if I’m inhaling the mask, not air,” Bartholomew said. Although masks are mandatory within the state of Massachusetts, they make sports and physical activity much more difficult to perform at full capacity.

As for the future of the athletic seasons here at Pentucket, we can only continue to work our way back up. In an interview with Daniel Thornton, the Athletic Director at Pentucket, he stated, “I believe the upcoming spring season will look much more like normal with sports.” With the changes that have been made over the months, we’ve been able to make a lot of progress towards getting back to “normal,” yet some of the changes are still lingering. According to Mr. Thornton, some of the remaining challenges are “canceled games, half seasons, playing in masks, and no fans.” However, as a school, Pentucket has been adapting well to these changes and has been able to overcome the multitude of challenges there were to face.

The athletes and students in the high school here at Pentucket have thoroughly displayed resilience and have been adapting to this new sports season very efficiently. Additionally, Mr. Thornton mentioned that he’s “proud of the way that Pentucket has stepped up to the challenge. We’ve had our share of bumps in the road but we’ve been able to persevere, adapt, and rise above our challenges. That’s what we do at Pentucket!” 

As a result of the patience of the students and athletes, support from adults, and a number of efforts made by the school’s staff and committee, Pentucket and its athletes have been granted the best version of a “normal athletic Fall II Season. With the ongoing effort to better the conditions these past months, it is imperative that high school sports environments become a better place, and Pentucket is doing just that.

Photo Source: Jonathan Wiggs of the Boston Globe