How SHS Soccer is Adjusting to COVID Protocol

Charlotte Suanders
Girls and Boys soccer adjust to COVID protocol while still trying to have a somewhat normal season.

Katarina Matosevic, Contributor

While COVID-19 has had a major impact on people’s lives all over the world, Stamford High’s soccer teams have continued to try making the best of their seasons. Despite having to follow the new CIAC guidelines, both the boys and girls soccer teams have been able to successfully adjust and begin their sports seasons. 

When asked what the hardest change was for both teams during this pandemic, Tony Crocco, coach of the girl’s soccer team, said, “The greatest challenge from a coaching perspective was to alter our training program to coincide with the new rules and guidelines put in place by the pandemic. Having only one hour sessions that must consist of 30 minutes of conditioning and 30 minutes of technical skill with no contact and remaining socially distant is a drastic change to what we would be doing if it was a ‘normal’ season.”

Bailey Getlik, senior captain of the girl’s soccer team agrees with her coach, “I think the most difficult part about starting our season during a pandemic has been the uncertainty and constantly adapting to new changes.”

Adapting to these new guidelines, along with the uncertainty of the entire season, has led to many mixed emotions for these players and coaches during their 2020 season. However, one thing that has not changed as a result of this pandemic is both the coaches and captains leadership roles within the teams. 

Zachary Tusa, senior captain of the boy’s soccer team, said, “It has not been harder to lead the team because of the virus. We’re still the same group of guys with the same goals, pandemic or no pandemic. We’re going to keep working in preparation for the season.”

Kendall Richmond, senior captain of the girl’s soccer team, feels the same way.

“This virus has just made things different in terms of leading because we are not doing many of the traditional things we would do in past years, like stretching together or having team talks. However, everyone still looks to the captains as an example so we make sure that we follow all the guidelines and still put 100 percent into each practice,” Richmond said.

Although both girl’s and boy’s soccer teams have been facing difficulties adapting to the new CIAC guidelines, as well as the new practice style, the one thing they have not struggled to comply with has been enforcing the precautions needed to ensure the safety of both players and coaches. 

Ashley Arrubla, senior captain of the girl’s team, spoke on the precautions they are taking. “Our coaches have told us since the beginning to stay 6 feet apart. It’s been kind of a routine lately. The captains and I are also on top of making sure everyone is as separate as possible, us included. Every time we use the soccer balls, we all use hand sanitizer and when we’re off onto the sidelines we use masks.” 

Carly Diamond, junior captain of the girl’s soccer team, agreed, saying, “We are practicing social distancing and wearing a mask whenever possible. We also always have hand sanitizer at the ready. Along with these precautions we always check in at the beginning of practice and are split into the same groups everyday to limit the people we are near.”

Coach of the boy’s team, Micheal Summa says the boys team has also been taking several precautions within the group by having “practices consist[ing] of cohorts of 10 and the groups can’t mix at all. They also have to maintain a social distance of six feet so we have to get creative every session with new drills.” 

Both teams are now excited to continue on with their seasons while doing their best to stay COVID-19 free.