Persevering through pandemic

Patriot athletes have had to adapt to changing times


Mia Stahl

Quarterback Owen Veltrop calls out the signals in the game against Parkway Central.

As athletes were getting ready for their championships, playoff games, and even starting their season, the world came to a stop. 

COVID-19 delayed recruiting and canceled seasons for athletes and coaches all over the country, starting in March when the pandemic hit the United States. As for Parkway South, Patriot athletes didn’t stop perfecting their sport. 

“During quarantine, I continued to work out and keep in shape. Also when it was allowed I was able to do private lessons to work on volleyball,” said Anna Sommer, volleyball player.

Not only were players affected by COVID-19, the coaches also had to delay or get creative with their recruiting plans for their season.

¨The individual camps (some of these camps players must be invited to participate in) are attended by many college coaches, and that is a great way for players to be recognized and establish communication with coaches. This was all canceled because of COVID-19, so recruiting has been different this summer, to say the least,” said Phil Mcguire, boys basketball coach. 

Not only was the physical side of sports affected by COVID-19, the mental health of athletes was also greatly affected. During this time a lot of athletes grieved on the loss of their season.

¨It made me really sad and I really didn’t have any motivation to do anything else. In the spring, I stopped doing my schoolwork because it felt like there wasn’t really a point anymore,¨ said Molly Biermann, lacrosse player.

Despite COVID-19 canceling sports in St. Louis County for a time, that didn’t stop the athletes at South High from continuing to train and improve on their sport. In some counties near STL were allowed sports to continue to practice and play in games/tournaments.

“During quarantine, Saint Louis County stopped sports, so I joined a team in O’Fallon where sports were still going on. My COVID sports training schedule was practicing 2 days a week and 3 days of strength and conditioning days. In addition, this week I went out of town for tournaments,” said Nathan Mesina, lacrosse player.

The months of hard work and having to be creative to keep in shape promise to pay off in the long run.  Returning to the field and the time spent with teammates will be more treasured than ever, according to many athletes.

“I think about how great it feels to be on the court and with my friends. All the excitement and joy I will eventually be able to have back keeps me working hard,” said Sommer. 

Athletes are not immune to the mental health concerns associated with COVID-19. The isolation and uncertainty contribute to the difficulties. Now, recovering from the global pandemic, South´s players now take nothing for granted. Any time on the field with your team is a gift. 

¨Having my season canceled made me appreciate the little things more, like before quarantine sometimes I would dread going to practice, but now I’m thankful for every day I’m able to get on the field with my friends,¨ said Biermann.