After a Long Wait, Winter Sports Have Finally Returned

Following countless delays and setbacks, the start of the winter sports season is finally here.


Sha-Lam Photography

Clay Gregg ‘22, avoids a gate during a February 2020 race at Bigrock Ski Area in Mars Hill, Maine.

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

It’s been nearly a full ten months since a Wildcat uniform was donned on the ice, court or slopes, so understandably, the athletes are raring to go. “I’m really excited,” said senior basketball player Julianna Morningstar. “I’m just happy to be playing basketball again.”

Following positive COVID-19 tests at the school at the outset of last month, it’s been up to the athletes themselves whether they would continue to workout and get ready for the upcoming season, something made quite difficult with increasingly strict restrictions in the county. “I tried to get out and play, but it’s hard to get into the rec center with COVID going on,” said senior basketball player Connor Rideout. “And even then, you can only do so much in rec centers. I know other people had a lot more time and you can certainly see that in the practices that we’ve had so far.”

This was a sentiment that seemed to be shared across all sports, with not only government restrictions hampering the ability to train, but also weather. “I skied a bit over the break and when we were remote,” said Amanda Winslow, a senior and member of the nordic ski team. “But then it rained over Christmas break, so you can’t really do much on grass.”

It may be a different season than these students are used to, but regardless, they’re just happy for the opportunity to compete. “Overall, I’m very excited to play, it’s going to be a good year,” said Rideout. “It’s going to be a bit weird not getting to play all of the bigger teams that we played downstate, but I think it’s still nice to be able to actually play, whether it’s all county teams or everyone playing.”

“It is weird not having to go as far,” he continued. “I’m certainly not going to miss the overnight trips that we get and everything else, but in the end, it’s all about being able to play with your past teammates and seeing the new incoming freshmen and learning from that.”

Schedules released on Monday set a 12 game slate for the basketball, hockey teams, with County wide scheduling for basketball, and games being played as far as Bangor for hockey. 

A schedule has yet to be released for the ski season, where the only major change should be the absence of a state championship, which understandably, is a disappointment to some, but the creation of a new rule has lightened the blow. “I was pretty bummed that there wasn’t going to be States because I didn’t end my states last year in a very good position,” said alpine skier Izzy Higgins ‘21. “But this year they changed the rules so if you want to make the New England team you can go to meets downstate and compete like how it would be at States. So it’s kind of the same. 

The first games on the calendar are set for January 20, with the varsity hockey and girls basketball teams on the road in Houlton.