Determined to Stay a Team


Avery Kuligowski, Staff Writer

“My favorite part of contact days was being able to interact with people while playing the sport I love since Covid-19 has limited so many things,” said freshman volleyball player Lydia Bisenius. 

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, many athletes have experienced canceled or postponed sports seasons. The question in the air has been, “When will I be able to play with my team again?” Contact days at Crystal Lake Central have given athletes hope and a chance to socialize with their teammates in the midst of these uncertain times.

Between the months of July and August, there were more than 300 students involved in summer camps at CLC. Coaches rushed to assemble camps as soon as the Illinois Department of Public Health gave permission for student athletes to reconnect with teams, according to Jeff Aldridge, CLC Athletic Director. All camps had special Covid-19 restrictions, including health screeners, social distancing, and mask-wearing. 

As fall approached, many sports seasons were postponed or canceled. Coaches began hosting contact days which were free after-school practices. These allowed athletes to practice with teammates and focus on improving their skills while following precautions. More than 330 students were involved in these contact days. With the restrictions, no students at CLC got sick from these camps.

Coaches and students were pleased with the outcome of the camps. It gave them a chance to get back into their sports and do what they love.

Students are taking advantage and are able to improve their skills, but, more importantly, they are getting the opportunity to talk to each other and the coaches about what is going well, what is going poorly, and how to handle certain situations that we have never had to deal with in the past,” said Derek Crabill, CLC Girls Varsity Basketball Coach.

Contact days allowed for students to get back into the swing of things without having to be online while doing it. Coaches were very pleased that students had the opportunity to finally get some social interaction with their teams. 

“It is a chance for the players to work together (in real life),” said Brian Strombom, CLC Varsity Softball Coach. This indicates the importance of real-life connections after months of deprived socializing.

“Even though Covid-19 has made some changes to our sports, we are still learning new things and working together,” said freshman Katie Hamill, a four-sport athlete at CLC.

Contact days gave students the opportunity to finally see peers and focus on improving their skills during a pandemic that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon.