The following op-ed was written by Kenwood High School student athletes for the Eye of the Bluebird, the Kenwood High School newspaper.
COVID 19 changed my life in many ways but one of the things I really missed this past year was playing volleyball. My volleyball team was like my own family. Everyone was caring like older and younger sisters. We cared for each other with the bond of a sport. We loved one another as if game rather than blood was our bond, we were sisters in our makeshift home of the volleyball court.
For some kids and teenagers like me, sports and other school activities are our getaways. Some of us don’t have families or a place that is a home. For some home is nothing more than just a house where a kid is placed and our school sports become our home and our teammates become our family. So for some of us when COVID came and shutdown our sports it took away our home and took away our family.
Growing up, I was a problem child. I never had any outlet to express myself nor to relieve any stress or anger I had built up inside me. When I was younger, I would always go to my uncle’s soccer games and witness all the fun him and his team had, and I realized how bad I wanted to experience it. After joining my own team, I quickly realized this is where I belonged. Soccer for me isn’t just a sport; it helps me in ways no one could. I need this game; it’s growing me into a better person.
Losing sports in my life this past year tore a hole in my heart. For some of us sports are our motivation to keep our grades up and get out of bed to make it to school in the first place. We’ve lost almost a year of playing the games we love. It may seem easy to dismiss this lose from our lives but when you take some something someone loves away it leaves them depressed.
Sports takes us to another world. It’s a world where we belong to something. There’s nothing quite like the pride on your coach’s face, the love and loudness of the crowd in the stands, the unity of your team as your work towards a common goal.
Without sports I couldn’t imagine where or who I’d be. It’s what drives me, and I’m sad as a senior that my high school sports career is not ending how I imagined but I am grateful I’ll get the chance to play with my team one last time.
When you lost something you loved that was such a huge part of your life that you weren’t sure if or when you’d get it back even though the sports seasons will look different this year, we can adapt and appreciate that we’re getting a chance to play the games we love.
We’re excited to see what these upcoming sports seasons and can’t wait for what’s to come. Thanks for giving us the chance to play the games we love one more time.
Liliana Chavarria is a junior and plays defense in soccer. Brian Gomez-Romero is a junior and plays LW offense in soccer. Toniyah Johnson is a sophomore and plays volleyball. Laila Lucus is a senior and plays middle and outside hitter in volleyball.