‘Come Back’ Season

Noah Lewis, Entertainment Editor

The 2020-2021 basketball season for the boys and girls has started successfully, with the boys having a 5-5 record and the girls have an 8-3 record [at time of publication] — and all this amidst a global pandemic.
As with all extracurricular activities, due to COVID-19, there are some rules, regulations and changes in place, including daily symptom assessments for spectators, six feet social distancing between families in attendance, no congregating before or after practices and games and those experiencing any symptoms should stay home.
As with the fall, there is the question of tickets.
According to the district website, athletes may get four tickets to home games and two tickets to away games, and out of an abundance of caution, students cannot buy tickets to attend games — only the athletes’ families can attend. Although this limits the number of people in attendance, the athletes are very understanding of why students can’t be there and are still grateful for those who can attend, including varsity boys basketball athlete, senior Brock Henne.
“I do understand the limitation, but I don’t like it because I miss the students being there,” he said. “I am happy that at least my direct family is able to come watch.”
In addition to limited attendance, the first week of the season was canceled. Varsity girls basketball athlete, senior Emily Walker spoke about how the team moved forward.
“Obviously missing a few games isn’t ideal, but I am really proud of the way our team has responded to the adversity so far,” she said.
Overcoming that adversity also led the Lady Vikes to defeat the Federal League champion Jackson Polar Bears Dec. 2 with a score of 50-41. They also held Jackson to 18 points in the Division I district semifinal last season. However, it is more than defeating Jackson.
“We play in the Federal League, which is a very competitive league, [and] we really can’t take any team lightly,” Walker said.
As COVID hit the basketball season last year abruptly, the teams have had to adapt differently after the many months of absence from the game.
“We had to cancel our first week of games which did contribute to us not being as ready as we should have been, but we learned from that and got better so that was good for all of us on the team,” Henne said. “We had to adapt quickly because we were not able to do summer league games. We had to focus more so that we could be the best team we could be.”
Varsity boys basketball coach Mr. Mike Bluey spoke of the work ethic so far this season.
“I am proud of our team and their grit so far,” he said. “We have battled adversity and will continue to do so. We are getting close to the halfway mark on the season and we continue to get better each time out. We are looking forward to the second half of the season and will continue to be the best that we can be as the tournament approaches. We just have to roll with the punches and worry about the things we can control and avoid wasting mental energy concerned with items out of your control.”
Henne is grateful for the North Canton fans.
“I would just like to say thank you to all the fans that kept up with Hoover basketball throughout this unusual year,” he said.
As for being an athlete during these unprecedented times, Walker keeps these thoughts in mind.
“My advice to my teammates is always to stick to the game plan, play together, play hard and have fun,” she said. “This year has served us all as a great reminder that we are not guaranteed another opportunity to play other than what we are given right now, so I think it is important to play every game like it is your last and be grateful for every opportunity given.” n