Students find athletic alternatives during pandemic

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Will Harris staff writer

Students used to be swamped with work, extracurriculars and ultimately sports, they used to find themselves forgetting a long lost passion, not feeling ready to go out and try out, or even found themselves in a completely different sport dribbling down the field attempting to score. However throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have had a lot more time on their hands, especially during quarantine, and some of them have taken the opportunity to try out new activities or revive old hobbies, which ultimately have gotten them out of their COVID-19 blues.

Although the pandemic has brought about many negative changes to people’s everyday lives, including restrictions, and precautionary measures, etc. these students have truly gotten out of their comfort zone. 

Junior Alex Manavi, a student who has dedicated the majority of his life to playing soccer, was inspired to try out volleyball during the pandemic. 

“I always thought volleyball looked fun in the movies, but I never got around to trying it because I was always so focused on soccer. But when quarantine came around, I started to play with some friends at my house,” he said. 

Once Manavi tried it out and began playing regularly with his friends, up to five days a week, he looked forward to the times when he could be physically active while hanging out with his friends.

Junior Lillia Maier rediscovered her passion for dancing during the pandemic. 

“Before the pandemic hit, I recall that I had stopped dancing as frequently as I used to because of school and other stresses in my life. When quarantine began, I noticed that I had so much extra time and I was finally able to dance over 10 hours per week which was what I used to do when I was younger,” she said. 

Junior Danny Geiger has found the time to finally dive into a sport that has always interested him.

“Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to play football, but never really had the chance to play in an organized league,” Geiger said. 

During his middle school and early high school years, he would frequently try to organize football games with his friends after school as a leisurely activity they could all engage in. Like his parents, they did not share in his interest as much as he desired. But when COVID came along, suddenly his friends had a lot of free time and were limited in the things they could do after school. 

Geiger laughed when he explained, “During quarantine, my friends had so much free time they finally couldn’t say ‘no’ to me.” 

He organized several football outings at a local park with his friends, and he got so into it that he started watching highlight reels of some of his favorite NFL players, and began incorporating some of their moves as his own during games. Even though he and his friends played for leisure, he became very dedicated to the sport. In fact, his regular participation in the sport gave him confidence and inspired him to try out for the school football team. 

“Quarantine was a blessing for me because it got me to actually do the sport I really love and pursue one of my biggest dreams,” he said.

“Not only has it been great seeing my friends on a regular basis, I’ve also gotten in really good shape from our games,” Geiger said.

All three of these students have revealed that for them, the COVID-19 quarantine has provided them with benefits, both physically and mentally. 

“I never thought I’d be able to get as good at any other sport besides soccer, but this past summer, my volleyball skills improved a lot,” Manavi said. 

Maier has been able to gain more time to herself so that she can focus on her dancing skills. 

“Being able to devote so much time to my true passion has made the quarantine bearable. Now I have time to dance and it gives me a sense of nostalgia of my childhood,” she said. 

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