Westminster spring athletes head into their first season in a year


The Westminster track is where track athletes practice and where track meets are held. Credit Sunanya Guthikonda

In the spring of the 2020 school year, Westminster made an impromptu decision to cancel all sports after COVID-19 began to spread around the nation. One year later, Westminster athletes are heading into the final months of the school year with hopes for a more rewarding culmination to their respective seasons. 

After adopting a number of safety protocols, Westminster decided to allow students to participate in fall and winter sports. Following the success of these strategies, Westminster has mandated similar protocols to give the spring teams the opportunity to carry out their athletic seasons without interruptions.

“ I think that Westminster does a really good job at protecting us from contracting COVID-19, so I think that we have an advantage over other schools just because we get to still come to practice and work as a team,” said junior Mira Srinivasa, a track and field captain. “We are all really diligent about wearing our masks and staying six feet apart at practice.”

Compared to last season, these new protocols prohibit many traditional practices by the teams. On the golf team, practices and transportation will look very different in comparison to previous years.

“The practices and transportation to tournaments will be different this year because we’re used to packing into a car together and driving out to tournaments together,” said varsity golf player junior William Love. “We can’t really do that this year while also staying safe at the same time, so the team aspect of the sport will definitely be impacted.” 

While the Westminster athletes may have to alter their traditions and team-bonding habits, many teams share a central focus: a state title.

“Ultimately, the big goal for us every year is to win the state championship,” said assistant tennis coach Kevin Mylod. “Although we don’t always achieve this goal, we always strive for it. I really believe that we’ve got a good shot at winning the state title this year.”

The tennis team has very few upperclassmen this year, with two seniors on the team and only one senior captain.

“Our senior [captain] this year is Kiran Gadde, and he will most likely be a starter for us,” said Mylod. “In addition to us having a pretty young team, I am very hopeful and excited about our future over the next several years.”

Because the tennis team lacks seniors this year, the coaches have turned to a number of juniors to assume leadership positions on the team. Junior captains are not a common occurrence for the tennis team, and it is the first time in Mylod’s career to have any on the team.

“In the ten years that I have been a coach for the tennis team, this is the first time that we have had junior co-captains,” said Mylod. “Noah Turbes and Alex Egoavil are both co-captains. They will both be starters for the team as well, in either a singles or doubles role.” 

Even with the new the addition of junior captains, the team will rely heavily on the underclassmen, who comprise the majority of the team. Likewise, both the golf team and the track and field team will rely on capable juniors and other underclassmen to bring them to a state championship.

“We have probably the best starting lineup that we’ve had on our golf team in Westminster history, so I’m definitely looking forward to that so long as we can just keep everyone healthy and safe as we play and prepare,” said Love.

Similarly, many of the track and field team’s key runners are no longer a part of the team. Regardless, the captains still hope for a strong season in spite of the obstacles of the pandemic.

“We have a lot of good underclassmen, especially in the sprint groups,” said Srinivasa. “Overall, we have a lot of depth as a team, so I am confident that we will be able to do well [in the meets].”

Even with the fate of the season hinging on how proactive the teams are with sanitary protocols, players and coaches alike have high hopes that their seasons will end with athletic success and teamwork.