The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Optimism for the 2021-2022 WIS Athletic Season

Students participate in socially distanced and masked cross country practices (Courtesy of Cheryl Tanski)

Many cross country runners haven’t heard the starting gun in nearly a year. Most soccer players haven’t heard the starting whistle in over a year. Due to COVID-19, students were unable to have a WIS athletic season, leaving a gaping hole in their lives. 

Basketball player and junior Josue Ochaita hasn’t played competitive basketball since February of 2020. His experience is relatable to many student athletes. For some such as Ochaita, sports served as an escape from everyday life.

“Basketball helped to get a lot off my mind from stress and school,” Ochaita said. “I was hoping that we would still have a season so when I heard [the season was cancelled], I was pretty disappointed.”

While WIS held sports practices during the fall and spring to keep athletes active, Ochaita felt that the competitiveness and impact in actual games was missing.

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“It just isn’t the same,” Ochaita said. “While playing at practice is fun, it doesn’t have the special feeling of an actual game.”

While Ochaita remains disappointed with the season cancellation, he is confident that next year there will be a competitive season. With the new vaccine roll-out and easing COVID guidelines, sports are slowly returning back to normal.

Cross country runner and junior Mila Martin notes that being able to go to a cross country meet is a sign that there will be an athletic season next year.

Her optimism is mirrored by other athletes like soccer player and junior Yannick Tanyi. “I think we will definitely have a season next year,” Tanyi said. “Everything will go back to normal.”

Athletic Director Floreal Pedrazo has already begun talks with other PVAC schools, and as of right now, sports events have already been scheduled. 

However, the pandemic is likely to still have an effect on sports. With COVID guidelines constantly evolving, mask mandates and crowd restrictions remain obstacles in the way of a typical season.

Despite this, Pedrazo urges students to remain in high spirits. While a mask mandate will be decided closer to the next season depending on PVAC and District of Columbia State Athletic Association (DCSAA) guidelines, Pedrazo is working on new ideas to make sure students can view sporting events.

“We are exploring the option of finding ways to stream the games,” Pedrazo said. “We can set up cameras so people can log in and watch the games.”

Additionally, sports practices have led to an optimistic view in terms of safety. According to Pedrazo, many athletes have already gotten vaccinated and thus far, no positive cases have been reported due to WIS sports and little have been reported in general. If an athletic season was to happen next year, safety guidelines are a priority. 

With the WIS athletic department working hard to ensure a safe competitive season next year, a more promising situation is starting to form. 

“Students should be optimistic,” Pedrazo said. “I think the season will happen, and if it doesn’t happen in the traditional way, we are going to find ways to still do it safely.”

By Philip He

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