Pandemic’s Effect on EHS Tennis

JAYESH CHAURASIA ‘23 and ARJUN SUDHALAKAR ‘23

As the school year comes to an end, the Edison High School Boys Tennis team concludes their season. The coronavirus pandemic altered almost all sports seasons this year, as the risk of viral transmission calls for limited contact among individuals. The team follows CDC guidelines during practice and games, keeping their masks on and maintaining a distance of six feet. 

The season began in March when members signed up and attended practices. As the season continued, the rankings were set, allowing the coach to prepare lineups for the competition in the GMC Red Division. The team has participated in fourteen games this season, with several matches remaining. 

Wesley Smith, Edison High’s tennis coach for 21 years, saw a shortage of attendees trying out for the team. “This year was by far the least number of students who ever came out for the team.  Some years we have had 40 to 50 boys.  This year we had around 15 kids who joined the team,” said Smith. The pandemic found the tennis team devoid of members, but despite the roster shortages, the team continued to compete in the league.

Junior athlete Aditya Modi ‘22 was interviewed about his thoughts on the changes from previous tennis seasons. “Coronavirus affected the team’s performance as a whole because not many people joined the team this year, so we could not fill out a whole roster,” said Modi. In the GMC division, the tennis team found themselves challenged in the current season. With several close matches, EHS won against teams such as Piscataway and New Brunswick, accumulating a total of four wins this season.

Others also spoke about the alterations to the season. “Due to coronavirus concerns, the team is constantly checked for high-temperature, and masks are mandated while we are not playing,”  said Advay Kadam ‘23. Coronavirus cases demand the players wear masks at all times, but this is not feasible during a game. During a game, athletes play normally without a face covering. However, while moving between courts and while traveling to other schools, there are strict protective guidelines that the players must follow. 

The Edison High tennis team continues to persevere as the Spring season comes to an end. Both Smith and the team look forward to coming back with more players and enthusiasm next season.