By Alex Gendron
Due to COVID, there has been a lot of modifications to the sport of soccer. In order to see what has happened, I have interviewed two of my friends, Ameen Raissi from The Wheeler School and Tyler Caterson from East Greenwich High School. They are both on the junior varsity soccer team for their respective schools. I asked them each the same questions to see the similarities and differences between the two schools and how they have modified soccer.
Why do you play soccer?
Ameen and Tyler both play soccer for very similar reasons. They both explained how soccer was a fun sport and were both influenced by family members to start playing. Ameen explained that during this time with COVID, soccer has been a good way to interact and have fun with his friends. They both agree that soccer gives them joy and have done it all their lives.
What is different about soccer this year compared to other years?
Ameen and Tyler had different answers to this question. Ameen said, “I am playing with kids that are much older than me, and it is a lot more difficult compared to playing with kids that are my age.” Tyler explained how now they play games on the weekends, and they have to wear masks while they play. The referees also give the players breaks during the games to catch their breath.
How do you feel about having to wear masks when you play?
They both understand the importance of the mask and why they need to wear it. However, Ameen explained how he is not that affected by the mask and the only thing it affects is his stamina. Tyler claimed that the mask was obnoxious, and since you are breathing very heavily, the whole mask gets covered in saliva. He described it as “like a wet towel on your face.”
What can you tell us about the season so far?
There are lots of differences between how the season has gone so far for each team. Ameen explained that his team has two wins, two losses, and one tie. He also said, “Especially considering the circumstances, I believe that my team has done really well.” Tyler’s team has three wins, one loss, and two ties. Both teams have one game left in their seasons.
What are your hopes for next year’s season?
Both Ameen and Tyler agreed that they hope there are no masks for next season. They both believe that they are distracting and obnoxious when trying to play. Tyler also hoped that they do not play on weekends anymore as he would much rather use the weekends to relax. Ameen said that hopefully the season is more intense next year as due to COVID more players are being less intense when playing.
As you can see, both players have many similarities and differences in their opinions on soccer. Due to COVID, there have been many changes in not only soccer, but also other sports like cross country and volleyball. Many people have concerns about what will happen in winter sports like basketball, swimming, and ice hockey. It’s easy to modify soccer and cross country because they are played outside, but in order for sports in the winter to happen, there are going to have to be major changes. This year has certainly been a weird year for soccer players, but at least they were able to play.