ISHA introduces Summer Season in response to postponements caused by COVID-19


Photo by Emily Kalis

Shayna Goldberg ‘22 saves a lacrosse shot during her first game as goalie.

Kirstin Palasz, Photo Editor

With the year coming to an end, LFA has been gearing up for finals and spring celebrations. Spring athletes, who normally would have started their season in March, are getting back in the gym and on the field. With the pandemic still very prevalent, a new season was created: the summer season. 

The summer season consists of sports that are usually considered spring sports: girls and boys lacrosse, girls soccer, boys volleyball, boys tennis, track, softball, and boys baseball. At the start of the year, many of the fall sports were moved to spring, which then pushed the spring sports to the new summer season. The IHSA declared that the summer season would be from April 19th through June 19th; however, this was shortened for LFA sports because of the boarding community.

LFA started the summer season on April 19th, and the season only continues through the end of the school year. Darrin Madeley, Athletic Director, said, “The other dates were for optional practices, but due to the size of our school, and a lot of our athletes playing in multiple seasons, I did not want to put even more pressure on students to have to train on multiple teams”. It was impractical to continue into summer, as it created many difficulties for boarders and put a hold on LFA’s summer events. 

Although several athletes are disappointed by a shortened season, there is still gratitude towards the efforts LFA has made to host sports. Last year, when the pandemic swept the country, the spring season was canceled as schools shut down. Most spring athletes are ecstatic to have any season at all.

With COVID-19 regulations still in place, outdoor sports create a safer environment for the athletes. Girls lacrosse, boys lacrosse, and softball will host practice on the turf, track will practice at Alumni Stadium, baseball will practice on the baseball field, boys tennis will practice at the tennis courts, and boys volleyball will be in Glore Gym. Even though volleyball will be inside, protocols will still be followed to make it as safe as possible. 

Athletes have had many reactions to this season. Sophie Berto, a member of the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team, said “I am sad that it is so short, but I am excited that we get to play because last year was canceled because of COVID.”

Most athletes are just looking forward to getting back on the field with their teammates. Bela De Jesus, a member of the Girls’ Softball team, said that “Softball is a super fun team, and I am grateful that I can run around and just have fun.”

It is clear that with a short season, there will be many drawbacks. De Jesus mentioned how “the greatest repercussion for me is that there is very little time to prepare for the first game, so I feel like I am not as prepared as I should be.” With a shorter season, it has been harder to build strong bonds with teammates, however, most athletes are not focusing on that idea. Berto mentioned that she is just happy to be back on the field with her teammates after the loss of last year. 

Other high schools are technically allowed to go into the summer as the athletes live close in the area. Berto elaborated on how she “honestly does not think [that] it is too bad because other schools only have an extra week or two and I am grateful that we are given the opportunity to even play.” 

There will be numerous games continuing throughout the season, and the same COVID-19 regulations will be applied with each sport including wearing masks at all times, social distancing, and temperature checks. 

Even with a short season, athletes and coaches are pleased to be back in sports. Madeley suggested that his “only advice is to really enjoy being back outside and with your teammates. Last year’s spring teams lost the chance to play so I want to try as hard as possible to make each day count and really have fun with your team.” Good luck to all the athletes and the teams!