BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Typically student athletes expect to start playing their winter sports after a short break after the end of fall sports. But winter sports, termed Season 2, Season 2A, and Season 3 by NJSIAA, the state governing board for high school sports, are on hold due to surging cases in COVID-19 until the beginning of 2021.

After multiple changes to the original plan for sports, Governor Phil Murphy announced on November 30, that there would be a pause on indoor sports until January 11. The only sport not impacted is hockey that is played at outdoor rinks. But those in attendance are limited to a gathering of 25 people.

NJSIAA has announced its new practice starting dates. Basketball is set to start on January 11, hockey on December 14, swimming and indoor track are set to start February 1, and volleyball and wrestling are set to start March 1. In addition, there won’t be NJSIAA-sponsored postseason play. Instead postseason play can be hosted locally according to conferences. 

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Although hurt by the news that they would have to wait to start their season, student athletes at Governor Livingston are doing everything they can to stay prepared and keep a good mentality for whenever the season may start.

Senior basketball player Chris Micca is making sure he is game ready for when the time comes to get on the court. “[I’m] staying prepared by continuing to workout and work on my game in addition to staying safe during COVID.” 

Staying safe is a necessity, but there are many limitations. Due to health restrictions, many athletes have to train on their own. 

Junior wrestler Kyle Savino’s club team practices are also on hold. “I still do my personal training, but having actual practice at my club has become much more difficult due to COVID,” Savino said. 

Girls’ Volleyball, which usually plays in the fall, is experiencing the biggest shift in its schedule. Because it is an indoor sport, the players had to sit by and watch other fall sports play when they couldn’t. 

Senior Leah Dooley said, “[I’m] very bummed out about the season and how it has all been postponed. I have tried to say positive and keep my hope.”

With plans continually changing, players have to stay positive. Sophomore hockey player Brian Kramer said, “Every week there is new news. I try to focus on my training and prepare like we are going to have a season.” 

As long as the number of cases rise, there may be more changes to come. But players have to continue to prepare for the eventual day when they get to rejoin their teammates and celebrate opening day.