By Lauren Zedlar
Elm Staff Writer
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, all athletic events were temporarily halted at Washington College. But teams were still able to perform in small group practices during the fall semester by following guidelines given by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.
This included practicing in small groups, wearing masks when not in gameplay, and tracking symptoms on the Emocha App everyday.
Also, only student-athletes residing in Chestertown are approved to practice with eachother.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams had a small number of players in Chestertown, but were still able to practice since a full team is not required to play.
This means that both the WC men’s and women’s basketball teams have been able to safely resume practices. Most practices have been individual or partner work, which is unusual in a regular season.
“Practice was different this fall for our team, but we still could do individual workouts with our coaches,” senior captain of the WC women’s basketball team Gemma Mochi said. “It was better than nothing.”
Both teams have reported to be focusing on individual skills instead of team skills. This means that teams have not been able to fully scrimmage or go into contact play.
According to Head Coach Aaron Goodman of the men’s WC basketball team, they have been focusing on individual skill development for the athletes living in Chestertown over the course of a six week period alike to the women’s team.
“It was productive in improving our individual games and incorporating new offensive concepts we plan to implement,” Coach Goodman said.
Similarly, the women’s team has also been working on individual skills.
“We are doing individual shooting drills, footwork, and working on our speed,” junior WC women’s basketball player Jess Giblin said. “We have been practicing three times a week along with workouts in the weight room.”
The practices have been beneficial for WC basketball players in Chestertown, but practicing has been a harder task for the majority of the team since they are not together.
WC basketball players living at home for the semester have been sent workouts and light practice schedules. But players living at home this past semester might not have the same accessibility to practice facilities.
With the increase of COVID-19 in the country, gymnasiums and workout facilities have limited their hours due to safety restrictions.
“I’ve mainly been training on my own at home,” said senior captain of the men’s basketball team Daniel Brown. “We do have basketball competitions within the team that keep us accountable.”
Both of the WC men’s and women’s basketball teams have also been having Zoom calls a few times a month to keep in contact with eachother.
“It’s been really nice to see our team over this semester, even if it is on a computer screen,” said sophomore WC women’s basketball player Andrea Prestianne. “Seeing how our upperclassmen have been able to practice in our own gym has made me miss everything so much.”
The Cenntennial Conference has yet to make a decision on what athletics will look like in the coming semester, but both WC basketball teams have high hopes.
“It’s been hard waiting to hear from the conference about the status of our season, but the team is staying prepared and optimistic for anything,” Brown said. “It’s been a rough time for all sports, and all students but just being patient on the status of our season is the main thing as of right now.”
“We are really hoping to start off strong at the end of January,” said junior captain of the WC women’s basketball team Madeline Williams.
In preparation, the WC men’s basketball team also plans to quarantine for two weeks before the scheduled beginning of a spring season according to Goodman.