Winter sports teams look forward to upcoming season despite COVID restrictions


Photo courtesy of Mark Williams.

Collin Kilpatrick, Sports Editor

The start date for winter sports is still undetermined, yet Falcon sports teams are gearing up for a successful season. 

Eight Rochester sports teams were set to begin their season late November, when the state of Michigan entered a three week pause, which has since been extended, the pause put a stop to all high school sports. Despite the restrictions, the MHSAA remains hopeful that a winter sports season will be played this year.

“While we are disappointed in today’s announcement, we will continue to look forward as we remain committed to play three sports seasons to their conclusion,” MHSAA Executive Director, Mark Uyl, said. 

While the state of winter sports is unclear, athletes have still been working to ensure that they have strong seasons. Since teams cannot meet for practice, due to COVID restrictions, athletes have had to navigate their preseason preparation on their own.

“I am reviewing plays, and working out on the side,” senior basketball player Ana Hernandez said.

The girls basketball team is hoping to repeat last year’s success after finishing first in their league with a record of 13-9.

“I’m looking forward to playing one last year on the team, I think we’re going to do really well this season,” Hernandez said.

Boys Swim and Dive is also looking to repeat last year’s success after finishing second in the league last season. The wrestling also had an accomplished season last year, as the team had many athletes achieve individual awards. Multiple wrestlers placed highly at the league meet, and two wrestlers qualified for the state tournament. This year’s wrestling team will be looking to maintain the individual achievements the team saw, along with gaining more team success. The ski team also saw success last year. The team has high expectations this season, in order to maintain that level of success.

“Last year was probably the best year we’ve had in a long time,” senior skier Trenton Simmons said. “The expectations are that we improve everyone’s time, and come in the top ten in all categories. We’ll do that by working harder in practice, and supporting everyone.”

The Rochester United hockey team, along with the boys basketball team will both be looking to improve on their results from last season. The hockey team had a season of ups and downs last year, as they finished the season with a 13-12 record. The team will be looking to return to its success from the 2018-2019 season, where they made it to the state semifinals. The boys basketball team had a record of 4-17, before their season was cut short due to COVID. This year’s basketball team is returning many players from last season, which gives the team added experience, and chemistry.

“Since our basketball team has a lot of chemistry from last year, we really hope to limit our turnovers,” senior basketball player Mark Williams said. “We want to work on swinging the ball around, and finding the best possible look to score the ball.”

The Rochester cheer team always has high expectations, as they are the winningest cheer team in Michigan with 19 state championships under their belt. The falcons hope to reclaim the state title, after placing fifth in the state last season.

“We are hoping to compete at the state finals this year, and possibly bring home the trophy,” senior cheerleader Alexis Budnick said.

The MHSAA has currently not released a plan on how they will handle the start of winter sports. A meeting was set to be held Dec. 16, however that was postponed, as the organization has said they are currently waiting on more information to make a decision.