The pandemic is bringing many changes to Taft’s 2020-2021 sports seasons, but some things stay the same–Taft’s 16” softball team made it to the city championship.
The Eagles ultimately lost to Walter Payton, finishing second place in the Chicago Public League this season
“[They’ve] been our main rival the last few years and this year they beat us again in the championship,” said head coach Kirk Vidas.
The pandemic impacted how the team prepared and practiced during the season. There were health screenings and temperature checks daily. Players were required to wear masks unless they’re on the field or properly social distanced.
“This season was very weird compared to the past couple of years, and it’s nothing that I’ve ever experienced before,” said senior Luke Lange via email. “But as a team we did whatever we had to do to be able to play, we wore masks on and off the field and stayed socially distanced whenever we were able to.” said Lange.
“The season was really weird with restrictions. It had made it hard to read each other’s emotions because we were only able to see each other’s eyes and hear each other really. Vidas’ smile is one thing that always motivated me and the masks really just made us have to adapt,” said senior Daniel Schaefer.
“This was especially a strange year to be a senior since we had a shorter and limited season, and there were a lot of restrictions for what we were able to do. But with that said all of the seniors knew that this was our last year with the team and we wanted to leave everything we had on the field, and everyone on the team played for one another,” said Lange Via email.
Despite the pandemic-altered season and falling short in the championship game, 16” softball was a worthwhile experience for the players.
“I think the thing that went best was the bond we built with each other. Even though we all went through the same hardships we stuck with each other through every bump in the road and this resulted in some lifelong brothers by my side,” said Schaefer.