Final fall: Senior fall athletes reflect on their ‘non-traditional,’ ‘chaotic’ season

Cross+County+athletes+Katherine+Lee+%28%2721%29%2C+Keera+Levell+%28%2723%29%2C+Nicole+Farmer+%28%2721%29%2C+Alessandra+Aragon%28%2722%29+and+Lauren+Robson+%28%2722%29+stand+on+the+field+next+to+Coach+Leufroy+during+a+practice+on+Nov.+19.+As+the+fall+sports+season+came+to+a+close%2C+senior+athletes+reflected+on+their+last+season.+From+cross+country+to+volleyball+athletes+has+to+adapt+to+a+Covid-19-plagued+fall.

Photo credit: Kim Smith

Cross County athletes Katherine Lee (’21), Keera Levell (’23), Nicole Farmer (’21), Alessandra Aragon(’22) and Lauren Robson (’22) stand on the field next to Coach Leufroy during a practice on Nov. 19. As the fall sports season came to a close, senior athletes reflected on their last season. From cross country to volleyball athletes has to adapt to a Covid-19-plagued fall.

By Grace Doyle

As Archer Athletics transitions into the winter and spring sports, seniors participated in their last seasons as fall high school athletes. Volleyball and cross country athletes reflected on their seasons, each given their own challenges. Senior Gabriela Ayala is a cross-county athlete. Although the season was constantly in flux regarding in-person or online practices, she described some positives of having some connection during the season.

“It’s not like you can do much bonding while just running, but we have been doing calls of core workouts. And just talking about stuff sometimes, that’s good bonding with the team and with the coach,” Ayala said. “You could have people to like go do exercise with, even if it’s via Zoom, because I feel a connection, especially when we go back to campus” 

Nicole Farmer, another cross country and soccer athlete, was excited to get back to Archer and the team. She and Ayala worked together to lead the team as seniors. 

“I think that we both were both sort of new — we didn’t do cross country last year,  so we both kind of figured out together how to navigate that super small team and I think that we all just came together,” Farmer said. “I think our role is very non-traditional in all this consensus. And I would say it was more that there wasn’t a captain or two leaders but everyone’s sort of led together which is really nice.” 

Senior volleyball player Ava Salomon viewed her final season as “chaotic” but said Archer athletes have made the best out of a Covid year.

“I would definitely say that it is a little chaotic, but we are making do with what we have. There’s few of us who have been great to committing to on-campus practices and conditioning workouts with Zoom calls, or we do workouts together,” Salomon said. “It’s been chaotic, not what I expected,  but the best that we can get for being in a pandemic.” 

The modified fall season also altered many athletes’ original plans. Farmer was forced to adjust her original plans to the unconventional season. Originally, she was simultaneously participating in cross country and club soccer. However, Farmer soon had to choose to only play club soccer in order to be in accordance with Archer’s COVID-19 regulations.  

“I decided that I was going to do club soccer just because the varsity cross country season was towards the end of the season. So I decided that I wanted to stick with soccer. And so, unfortunately, I had to quit the [cross country] team,” Farmer said. “I wish that I could have stayed on both teams. But, you know, that wasn’t the case.” 

Overall, Salomon expressed how senior fall athletes had to make the best out of their last seasons. 

“Yeah, It was really really upsetting. I was definitely looking forward to, senior night and just varsity games overall. I was really really excited for my last season,” Salomon said. “Even despite everything not going as planned, I’ve found opportunities to be a leader and help out people around me and still just, pretend that everything was as dope as I can.”