Covid carryover: EHS sports getting ‘back to normal’

Salma Djebari

Everett High has always been big on sports. It’s an important part of our school’s identity and one of the most enjoyable aspects of school life for both the athletes themselves and the students watching. We all remember watching football games after the Homecoming parade and cheering every time the football team scored or making signs for our favorite players on the volleyball team. 

Then it all changed in the blink of an eye. 

The pandemic turned everyone’s year upside down and things that we were so used to became a distant memory. We had to experience a whole year of high school online, without any real social interaction. Many sports at Everett High were cancelled altogether and the ones that played did not have the full season they were expecting.

Without that school spirit, EHS felt pretty uneventful and boring, not to mention we were stuck at home the whole time. 

Athletes like volleyball senior Hanadie Laabadla lost much of her junior year and felt time for conditioning and improving was too rushed. 

“We could’ve grown more as players if the situations weren’t so tough,” she said. “Covid and the pandemic really took a toll on the team’s performance, but I’m very grateful to be able to play at all.” 

Matt Turilli, a junior on the baseball team, missed his entire freshman season. He’s hopeful that when the team resumes it’s “normal” routine this spring, that the program gets back on track. 

“We still had the drive to play,” he said, “but having to wear a mask (during the pandemic-shortened season last year) was a struggle.” 

Even football, typically the school’s most popular and visible program, needed time to rebound. 

“Playing sports during the pandemic was difficult because there wasn’t a lot of communication between the school and sports,” Malloy said. “For a while I felt like I was just doing my own thing to better myself with no infinite goal in mind.” 

Malloy and other players might have had more opportunities to go on college visits and attend football camps. In many ways, he said, individual athletes are still trying to catch-up. 

Despite the challenges, our school is a lot stronger than we all think. We collectively overcame a pandemic and we’ve already had a great start to the school year. If what we have seen this fall is any indication, EHS athletics will be back on top in no time.