Although the spring sports season got cut short for many teams, Marian athletes continued to work hard through the summer on their club sports teams.
Junior Shannon Monahan, who had a spot on Marian’s JV Soccer team, continued her soccer career this summer playing for the 03/04 gold team at Gretna Elite Academy, a combination of Gretna Soccer Club and Elite Girls Academy (GEA).Club soccer is usually in the fall and winter, while the high school soccer season fills the springtime.
For most club players, tryouts were unlike anything in the past. Tryouts were not held for the returning players of GEA, like Monahan, but for members of other clubs wishing to switch this upcoming season. For the 03/04 gold GEA team, a small tryout was held with a couple girls from each team to help out. For other clubs, rather than a tryout, girls were offered spots on specific teams based on previous season play at their returning club. Girls were also allowed to reach out to other clubs, therefore receiving more offers and from there accepting or declining.
Monahan said the biggest change she noticed this summer is that her team is, “doing more drills focused on footwork and not a lot of contact.”
Along with club soccer, club basketball, which is usually set for the spring, has given athletes a chance to compete this summer.
Senior Celia Hacker plays for Team Factory Girls Basketball on the U17 team. The club basketball season normally follows the winter high school season.
Hacker has played for Marian’s Varsity Basketball team since her freshman year.
Each spring, club tryouts are held and teams begin to travel to tournaments, competing against other clubs on most weekends. This year, however, was different. Tryouts were postponed, tournaments were cancelled, and players were forced to put in extra work to prepare for the new summer season set for July.
“The biggest part was that I had to choose within myself if I wanted to get in the gym and get better or stay home. Lots of people stayed home and it showed!” Hacker said.
This club basketball season is crucial to the Class of 2021 players looking to continue their basketball career in college. Hacker said this has impacted her personal recruitment process, as college coaches are not able to physically attend games. Rather than standing on the sidelines, college coaches are recruiting through live streams on BallerTV. Athletes have just recently been allowed to go on visits to colleges looking to recruit them. Hacker has collegiate offers from Upper Iowa University, Lake Superior State University, Grand View University, Peru State College.
Club sports impact athletes in many ways. They form relationships with coaches, friendships with different players from competing schools, and sports offered during off-seasons serve as both physical activity and a healthy physical and mental outlet. Despite the COVID outbreak, club sports allowed many athletes to continue through summer, on the sports they play.