LFA sports in the “New Normal”


Photo by LFA Communications

Lake Forest Academy Girls’ Varsity Basketball team

Kirstin Palasz, Editor-in-Chief

It has almost been 2 years since the world shutdown from COVID-19, yet the disease is still rampant across the world with the new Omicron variant. It has affected all aspects of the lives of the LFA community members from academics to athletics.

There was a dramatic shift for the winter sports from before and after winter break with the development of many new COVID cases. As students and faculty returned to campus, winter sports seemed to be running smoothly; however, with a rapid increase of cases spreading quickly, adjustments had to be made. 

Members of teams have been in and out of practices for many different reasons, but the most common of which are the ones revolving around either getting COVID or being a close contact. This negatively affects the teams, as many of these sports rely on bonds within teammates, which is significantly more difficult when hindered with the pandemic. Tanika Golota, Athletic Coordinator and Head Coach of the Varsity Girls’ Basketball team, said, “It’s hard to keep the excitement up when it is so unpredictable.” With the inconsistencies, it’s been hard to keep the momentum going. Golota stressed that when teams are “outside of being in the gym, you have to try to find ways to still connect.”

It also has effects on coaching and putting together lineups.  Golota mentioned how “it has made where those players who may not get as much time, or may not rely on as much, we have had to rely on our entire team. ” She exclaimed that all players need to be ready at all times. 

With the development of many cases, a vast number of games have been rescheduled or canceled across all sports. An average of 6-8 games have been canceled for the basketball program. This has caused many issues throughout the teams, from lack of team bonding to the inconsistency with players going in and out of practices.

First off, with many of the games being rescheduled, many of the teams should have a longer season than expected, but due to spring starting, the season will not be pushed longer. Dates and times have become very open ended to the athletes. “The season still ends at the same time, but it’s trying to fit in those games in that short amount of time,” said Golota. This can have macro effects on athletes who are doing both winter and spring sports. As the winter season practices continue, there will be even greater effects on the start of spring season because there will be no gap in between the seasons. 

The cancellation of games has left many athletes feeling as though their season is incomplete. It is unfortunate to see how many athletes are disappointed when their seasons come to an end, but it is ultimately understood that the cancellations were for their own safety. 

Although the frustration of games being canceled is high, it is more important to keep all the athletes safe. Looking into the future, the question arises as to what will happen with spring sports. It is impossible to predict what will happen with the COVID cases, but staying patient during turbulent times is very important.