Omicron takes Winter Sports by surprise

by Emily Williams (’22) | February 14, 2022

Photo by Riley Walukiewicz (’24)

Prospects were finally looking up this December – COVID-19 cases were low, energy on campus was high, and winter sports were getting into the height of their seasons. Not long after, news of a new COVID-19 variant started to spread: Omicron. When we left for the long winter break, it was still just a word we heard thrown around but didn’t know much about. Basketball, soccer, and wrestling continued on, putting work in as the holidays flew by. 

Towards the end of 2021, cases of the new variant were rising at an alarmingly fast rate. The news was full of record-breaking hospitalizations, skyrocketing cases, and a resurgence of anxiety. Some Saint Francis games and competitions were canceled or postponed, while teams across campus both in season and training struggled with missing players. The Rage Cage was not allowed at basketball games for several weeks (finally being allowed back for the recent girls’ Varsity Senior Night). 

As we neared our return to school on January 11, there was speculation and dread that school would be moved online, like some schools such as Archbishop Mitty had. Thankfully we started the year off in person and have stayed that way since. The first few weeks were rough, with some students saying that some of their classes were missing almost half of the students. Yet the Omicron wave has started to recede almost as rapidly as it started, and we’re starting to see “normalcy” again. 

Meanwhile, basketball, soccer, and wrestling are finishing out their seasons, looking to go out on top. Girls’ Varsity Basketball is 15-5, and the losses have only motivated the team. Despite their tough loss to Saint Ignatius on Senior Night, Mason Spencer (’22) expressed the team’s positive sentiments after welcoming fans back. “Having the Rage Cage there meant the world to us and made the night super special,” she said. 

Boys’ Wrestling is 4-0 in league, gaining the WCAL Round Robin League title, but both the girls’ and boys’ teams have canceled tournaments over the course of the season. Boys’ basketball is 13-8, and some tight losses have given the team a drive to work harder and win. A member of the team, who wished to be unnamed, said, “Moving forward we have to take every game one at a time and use all our talents to grit out some wins, so we can make CCS open. From there, we’ll stay disciplined and let our playing on the court do the talking.” 

The hard work and dedication put in by every winter athletic team has translated into winning records and abundant motivation. Thankfully (and hopefully!) Omicron’s spike was short-lived and offered an obstacle to make the teams stronger. Jacob Meza (’22) mentioned that “this season has thankfully looked a lot more normal than last year.” Winter athletes are grateful to be playing after such abnormal winter sports seasons. That Lancer spirit is back and better than ever.

Categories: Sports

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