The leaves are falling, the days are becoming shorter, and Concord Academy’s fall athletics season has come to a close. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CA sports looked very different than they have in past years. Whether participating in remote fitness classes or attending biweekly on-campus practices, coaches and students alike were forced to reimagine their season. 

For team-sport athletes, one of the most noticeable changes this fall was the lack of interscholastic competition. Normally, CA’s nine fall teams would have competed in games and races against other schools in the Eastern Independent League (EIL). However, in an effort to protect the health and safety of their communities, EIL member schools announced that there would be no league games this season. Despite the disappointment this caused, CA athletes approached the season with an open mind, making the most of every practice and meeting to continue improving their skills and building relationships with teammates. Some captains, such as those of Boys and Girls Soccer, even organized captains’ practices to provide players with additional opportunities to connect. 

Lilia Kadson ‘22 is a member of the cross country team at CA. Regarding the fall season, Lilia said that “not being able to race against other schools has been disappointing. I love competing and representing our school at meets and have really missed this aspect of a normal sports season. Additionally, it was difficult to monitor my progress because I couldn't compare my times and rankings at each meet. However, our coach, JWal, provided the team with lots of other opportunities to check our progress, including timed trials, speed workouts, and long runs. I was really grateful for these opportunities and impressed with the coaches for being able to facilitate some sort of competition during this strange season. Though it may have been a very different experience because of the COVID-19 protocols and lack of interscholastic competition, I still feel as though I learned a lot this season and am so grateful to the coaches for helping make it so special.”

CA’s PE classes also looked different this fall. Many PE classes were offered via Zoom instead of in-person in order to accommodate students participating remotely. In addition, certain IM sports, such as IM Soccer and IM Tennis, were not offered at all, and were instead replaced by more COVID-19-friendly options like yoga, pickleball, and mindfulness and meditation.

Overall, students say that they found their fall athletic season  to be fun and meaningful. In spite of the challenges created by COVID-19, CA athletes and coaches demonstrated the strength of this community through their resilience and commitment to supporting each other.