WESTFIELD, NJ — Their time on the field of play may be limited due to coronavirus, but their images will be hanging around the stadium for quite a while.
Westfield High School senior varsity athletes, whose seasons have been curtailed due to the pandemic, have had their visages posted up on the gates surrounding Gary Kehler Stadium.
“It brought some smiles to a lot of our senior athletes’ faces,” said Athletics Director Sandy Mamary. “Everyone needs that right now. Everyone needs to smile as much as they can.”
Westfield parents Meg Freer, Carolyn Buoscio, Nancy Csorba and Paula McCauley organized the effort to have the posters printed and displayed, Mamary said.
Freer said they had initially planned to have the banners made for just the lacrosse teams and hang them inside of the stadium, but when coronavirus hit they expanded the offering to all the high school senior varsity athletes and decided to hang the banners them outside of the stadium facing Rahway Avenue.
“Everyone just seems really excited to have them up and have some way to represent these seniors, who aren’t on the field right now,” Freer said.
The Denville based screen-printer Go Ballistic Sports worked with the local families to print up the vinyl banners, she said. When all is complete, 78 banners will hang outside the stadium, Freer said.
Julia Csorba, a 17-year-old senior at Westfield High School, would typically be running spring track with the rest of her team were it not for COVID-19.
Seeing her and her teammates’ images up outside the stadium came as a welcome boost in what Csorba noted is an uncertain time.
“Being able to see my picture up and think of times, like last year, when I did get to race, brings back better memories,” Csorba said.
Colin Freer, an 18-year-old lacrosse player, helped to come up with the design that marks his team’s banners.
“We can’t be on the field right now, so the best way to show our athletic school spirit would be to put up to banners,” Colin Freer said. “It’s something special for these seniors who have been playing together for our whole lives to be up on one wall altogether.”
Colin Freer said he and his teammates have been playing for most of their athletic careers and so it’s special to have the banners hang there.
“I’ve grown up with every single one of these kids, and it’s special to think that we’ve made childhood memories and now we’re 17, 18 years old, and we’re all representing the athletic community in Westfield,” he said.
Shreya Jyotishi is a sophomore at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.
Email Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @MattKadosh
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