By Ivie Li
With the current increase in COVID rates and the Omicron variant, spectator restrictions have returned to indoor sports at New Hyde Park. For the rest of the 2021-2022 season, only two spectators will be allowed per student athlete for both home and visiting teams.
A smaller student section has definitely brought a different atmosphere to games and competitions.
“The pandemic has gotten in the way of many meets, but we have it under control now...”
“The past few years, we’ve had tons of parents and family coming to support. Now, with no one in our stands, we feel as if we don’t have as much support as previous years, and it feels much more empty,” junior gymnast Dora Alfieri said.
“Junior varsity and varsity weren’t even allowed to watch each other’s games, but now we get to support each other, and it makes it much better than last year,” sophomore basketball player Alexandra Stec said.
Source from Kristen Schneider
The boys junior high volleyball team practices during an unprecedented season.
Despite the lack of an audience, some student athletes find the solidarity to be motivating, while others miss the energy of a roaring crowd.
“At certain games, I felt that it was good we didn’t have so many spectators because I was focused more, but other times, I felt we needed more spectators to help us push through a game,” senior basketball player Grace Tumulty said.
“While solidarity can be nice, during game time it is way too quiet. Having a loud yet supportive crowd really helps our team get motivated and energized to play,” senior basketball player Riley Griffin said.
The return of spectator restrictions has also brought up discussion of returning back to a time without NHP sports, but student athletes remain optimistic of continuing to the spring season.
“Sports are important for so many students at NHP, including myself, and I’m pretty optimistic that they are going to stay. Going outside for spring sports will hopefully bring us a better chance to keep sports at NHP,” Stec said.
“The pandemic has gotten in the way of many meets, but we have it under control now, and our coaches have been working hard to keep us safe and healthy,” Alfieri said.
“Although COVID cases can still increase, I would hope we never go back to a time where sports are canceled. As long as we continue to take precautions and be vigilant with our masks, I do not think we will have to worry so much,” Griffin said.
Student athletes have persevered through difficult seasons with constantly changing conditions, but even with the new spectator rules, NHP Gladiators will continue to support and cheer for them.