SPC releases information on winter sports, updates championship plans

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Sarah Clark

Varsity Cheer supports the basketball team while staying safely distanced.

Without an SPC championship to anticipate, basketball and soccer coaches are finding new ways to motivate their players and make the best out of a shortened winter sports season. 

“We won’t be coming together to play the SPC tournament like we typically would, so that puts a damper on everybody,” boys’ basketball coach Taylor Green said. “But those rivalry games that we at St. John’s really care about are still going to happen. I’m sure they’re going to be just as intense as ever, and I know our guys are really looking forward to that.”

The basketball teams will not compete for SPC titles this year, but they will still have chances to prove themselves in conference games.  

“Even though [the cancellation] is disappointing, I’m sure we will still have a great end of the season,” girls’ basketball captain Rachel Kim said.

Apart from losing the first two weeks of preseason to the extended fall season, the soccer practice schedule has remained the same. Games happen as frequently as last year, and the only differences are that spectators are limited and players are usually masked. 

This is a situation where you take it day by day and just enjoy each training session for what it is and enjoy each other because you never know what the next day is going to bring.”

— Erin Wierzba

“It’s taken us a bit longer to get connected and used to playing with each other,” girls’ soccer coach Erin Wierzba said.

Disappointment for the cancellation of the championship has taken a toll on the team, especially for the seniors, but they believe it is possible that SPC will reevaluate the decision closer to the end of the season. If not, they are optimistic that there will at least be a championship tournament in the Houston area.

“This is a situation where you take it day by day and just enjoy each training session for what it is and enjoy each other because you never know what the next day is going to bring,” Wierzba said. 

The swimming and wrestling teams still have an SPC championship to compete for, but their seasons have been anything but normal.

“Right now we can’t wrestle. We can’t even wrestle at practice,” wrestling head coach Alan Paul said. “It’s out of my control, out of the team’s control and out of the coaches’ control. All we can control is how we prepare.”

The swimming season’s start was delayed when the team’s normal practice location, Lamar, announced that its pool would be closed. After settling on the Bellaire Pool for their early morning practices, swimmers have had to deal with low temperatures in the 40s interrupting their practices. 

It’s out of my control, out of the team’s control and out of the coaches’ control. All we can control is how we prepare.”

— Alan Paul

“It’s been a difficult start to the season, but I am proud of the way swimmers have responded,” boys’ captain Jackson Humphries said. “Everyone has done an amazing job of being at practice and working their hardest.”

Although each of the winter sports teams is handling the season differently, coaches prioritize giving their athletes the best season possible, whether they compete or not.

“We have a basketball team out there right now,” girls’ basketball coach Kathy Halligan said. “They’re not playing for an SPC championship. They’re playing because they love the game of basketball.”