On Tuesday Jan. 19, McNick Athletic Director Drew Schmidt announced to seniors that they would be allowed to attend varsity basketball games for the remainder of the season. “[Principal Dave] Mueller and I spoke about trying to give seniors as many opportunities as we can until the school year ends to have a little resemblance of normalcy,” Schmidt said.
In order for this privilege to be possible, health protocols must be followed in order to keep all spectators and players safe during this time. Schmidt said, “We’re going to put twenty seniors in each end zone. They’ll have to sit at least six feet apart with their masks on. Everybody in the gymnasium per the OHSAA… are supposed to wear masks and be compliant with what society’s doing right now to limit the spread.” Schmidt added, “It’s a revocable privilege… If everybody is compliant and can do the proper things, we can hopefully allow this for the rest of the winter and into the spring sports season.”
Players from both the men’s and women’s varsity teams have expressed enthusiasm for this change. Senior captain Haven Dwyer said, “Usually, we don’t get as many [fans], but I think we’ll get more just because people haven’t been able to go to anything. It’ll be exciting to have everyone there, and [I’m sure] they’ll be excited to be there too.”
Senior Captain Caden Conrad said, “As a player, I for sure missed having a student section. It’s such a home court advantage. Having everyone there is such a rush, [and] seeing people I know is just awesome, especially during these times.”
“Since I was a freshman, I remember senior night just going in to play and [being] nervous, and I was like, ‘This is going to be me one day.’ Now it’s here, and now we can actually have people in there. It makes me happy because this is what I’ve been waiting for,” senior captain Emma McSwigan said.
During the men’s varsity basketball game versus Alter on Tuesday Jan. 26, thirty seniors were present in the student section. Senior Ella Wolfram said, “I had so much fun. It was so nice to be back in the atmosphere of the basketball games, and it made me so happy to be there.” Senior Claire Crawford added, “It feels so much different. Usually, the Launch Pad is packed, and everyone is standing, cheering, and dressed in a theme. We have been looking forward to being the seniors at the games for so long so we could be in the front and start cheers, but I am very grateful we still got to go.”
As of Feb. 1, there are six remaining games for seniors to attend. Men’s Varsity Basketball Team Coach Tim Monahan said, “We have one of the best student sections around, and I know our guys love playing in front of them… Even though they are limited in numbers, I think it [makes] a difference… Every game they can attend is what I am looking forward to.”