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COVID-19 Will Not Stop the Lady Hawks from Putting Up Another Great Season

by Nick Jensen '21, Assistant Editor

 

For the last few years, the major highlight of the sports world in Manchester has undoubtedly been the high school’s girls basketball team. Year in and year out, Coach Beauchemin and his terrific players have put on a show for the community and competed at the highest level.

Last March, in the midst of their yearly playoff run and their 28-4 season, COVID-19 struck and stopped another superb season and the lady hawks in their tracks. But that tough break is now in the past. Coach Beauchemin is now solely focused on this season. He said, “It really just feels good to be able to get back out on the court and be a part of the game with everyone again.” 

There is no doubt COVID-19 will play a huge role in how the season operates in 2021. The season starting in January is new for the players, coaches and fans. Coach Beauchemin spoke on how the challenges for this season will look: “COVID-19 brings an entirely new dynamic to table.  We will be working diligently to cleanse all equipment immediately following use to help fight against the spread of COVID.  If we are quarantined as a program at any point in time or as an individual player, it will be a two week stop in the action.  Many teams will be faced with last minute schedule changes or even weeks without an opponent.” 

As for his players, Senior Destiny Adams, and Sophomore newcomer Sadie Felipe also went on about how COVID affects their season, Sophomore newcomer Sadie Felipe explained how there will be no tip off this year so the teams have to flip a coin to decide who gets the ball first. “We expect that this year will be difficult under the circumstances but we still have hope of winning all our games.” ‘

Senior leader Destiny Adams said, “We are about to have a completely different season than we are used to. No fans, and wearing masks whenever we are out of the game, it’s all something we have to adapt to. I’m just grateful that we are even getting a season at all.”

Another factor that will have a big impact on the team will be the change in who can attend the games. During the 2021 season, there will be no fans in the stands for basketball games. According to Coach Beauchemin, that will be something the team will really have to adjust to. “The energy of crowds is a major part of athletics and this season will create some adjustments mentally with what we are faced with.  I feel we will be prepared to create our own energy each and every night we step on the floor.  The biggest challenge for many of them will be the inability to perform with their families present.” 

Fans looking for their Manchester Basketball fix in 2021 can enjoy live streamed games when available. Check the high school athletic website at https://www.manchestertwp.org/mths/athletics or follow the MTHS Sports Twitter at @MTHS_Sports for updated livestream links and information.

Regardless of the extraordinary challenges that the players and coaches will face, the expectations and excitement will not be lacking this season. The Lady Hawks are always looking to improve, and Coach Beauchemin elaborated on how they plan to do so. “We are looking to become better in the half court offensively. We have always scored well in transition, however, the big games come down to who wins more half court possessions especially late in the game.” 

As for the players' perspective, Adams said, “I expect us to just bring our best every game and everyone to just do their role… We all want to win, so that is what we plan on doing.” 

Last year when the season suddenly ended for Manchester, a few high school basketball careers ended along with it. Key players like Kemari Reynolds and Serenity Anderson played their last games in a Hawk uniform without even knowing it. How will the Lady Hawks handle such tough losses to the roster? Coach Beauchemin explained, “We try to handle the loss of players the same way every season. You don’t look for someone to take over in the exact same way… You look for the next players to step into the role as the best version of themselves.” Then Beauchemin said, “The losses of Kemari Reynolds and Serenity Anderson to graduation will be tough… the experience they brought will be felt.” The players Beauchemin expects to take their game to the next level, Morgan Brustman and Myah Hourigan. “These two will be asked to take on a larger role this season than they have in the past. They are both very talented basketball players and are fully capable of excelling in their roles this season.” 

For the Lady Hawks of 2021, a perfect season would of course be to play the maximum number of games at 15. Other than that, it is always sky's the limit for the magic that can occur on the floor for this group. The season opener is Tuesday, January 26 at 5:15 PM., Tune into the live stream to enjoy the start of yet another promising season for the Lady Hawks. 

Key Returners: Destiny Adams, Morgan Brustman, Amyah Bray, and Myah Hourigan.

Key Newcomers: Devyn Quigley, Alyssa Carino, Sadie Felipe, Ashley Tinervia, and Jada Trotman.

Head Coach: David Beauchemin

Assistant Coaches: Troy Madison and Sarah Paturzo