Basketball Players Worry about Chances of a Season

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Courtesy of Ben Stewart

Nonnewaug sophomore Ben Stewart (24) defends during a game last year. Last season, players didn’t have to wear fasks masks during games — if the Chiefs are allowed to play this season, players and coaches may have to face that reality.

Dylan Chung, Reporter

WOODBURY — The Nonnewaug basketball teams’ seasons are up in the air with the recent postponement of the season. 

Many players are itching to start the season because of the amount of work that they put in this offseason. 

The CIAC announced Nov. 17 the postponement of the start of the winter sports season until at least Jan. 19. That is also the same day when Region 14 is scheduled to return to hybrid learning, which was a requirement outlined by the CIAC during the summer for schools to compete in interscholastic sports.

With this being called the COVID season, many athletes have still been preparing to play. 

Ben Stewart, a sophomore, prepared for this season by joining an AAU program in Naugatuck.

“I would say it helped me prepare to get physically stronger, and helped me mentally get stronger because of the higher competition,” Stewart said. “It helps with my basketball skills all around.”

Stewart, like most, was disappointed and surprised when the postponements were announced. 

“I was very disappointed and shocked because it would have been very strange not having a basketball season, because I have grown up watching high school basketball and playing to have a good shot to have good varsity minutes,” Stewart said. “This is what I’ve been preparing all summer and fall.”

Stewart unfortunately does know that the possibility of this season happening seems slim. 

“It would just be too hard to try because of ‘rona [COVID-19],” Stewart said.

Stewart also recently found out that if they did have a season, they would have to wear masks during games. Some students find it difficult to play in a mask because of the restriction on air, but not Stewart. 

“I don’t really mind if we have to do that,” Stewart said. “We did that for soccer warm-ups and we’re just gonna have to get used to it, and eventually it will become the new normal.”

Fellow sophomore Trey Medonis is also on the basketball team, and he disagreed with Stewart.

“It’s gonna make it really hard to breathe, especially for the kids playing,” Medonis said. “It’s gonna make it even harder with it being indoors, so overall it would just be difficult.” 

While some players may not play this season due to COVID-19, Medonis plans on playing.

“I love basketball, and even with the virus I am still willing to play,” Medonis said. 

Even if there was a basketball season, there is seemingly no possibility of a postseason. What are the players shooting for if there is no end game?

“Improve my skills and get better as an overall player,” Medonis said. “This season is more about myself because the possibilities of the season being on are very low. But if we do have a season, I still want to win as many games as possible.”

Jan. 19, 2021, is the date when Nonnewaug is scheduled to come back to school. That will also be the day the possibility for basketball will return — and the players’ hard work all year round could pay off.