The MW Alpine Ski Team Had Successful Season Despite Pandemic Limitations

Matthew Bezdicek, Contributing Writer

Last year’s spring sports and this year’s fall sports were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was little hope that sports would start up in the winter, but thanks to the Monroe-Woodbury athletic department, winter sports were started in January.

The fall 2021 season was delayed to March 2021. The winter season, which typically starts in November, started two months late in January. The alpine ski team started practice on January 19th. 

Head coach Mr. Hodges said, “Just being able to have the team together is a huge accomplishment.”

Assistant coach Ms. Vero shared this sentiment. “We were lucky that we had any opportunity to compete and we made the best of what we could during the pandemic,” said Vero.

The team had to take more precautions this year than in previous years.

They had to take an online COVID-19 screening before each practice, have masks on, and socially distance at all times. Racers also had to ride up the ski lift separately to minimize contact. These were major changes from previous ski seasons.

The number of races that the ski team had this year was cut short. Usually, there are eight, but this year that number was cut to six. This meant that the racers don’t have as many chances to race. This allowed racers to be able to socially distance better while on the mountain.

Despite these shortcomings, the sections championship was still held on February 25. 

Michael Shapiro, an experienced racer, aimed to make it to sections and place well.

“Just being able to have the team together is a huge accomplishment,” said Shapiro.

He was able to do that this year, placing 18th overall out of the eleven schools in the section. It was important to him to be able to go to sections, so he was appreciative that sections happened this year.

“I am delighted beyond words that we were given the opportunity to have it,” said Coach Hodges.