Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in efforts to “flatten the curve,” all large events and gatherings have been canceled, including sports. The NBA stopped midway through their season, the MLB canceled spring training, March Madness was canceled, to name a few. Among these, less recognized is the cancellation of high school sports. Amidst a global pandemic, this is the least of worries to most. However, for some high school seniors, this is quite the opposite. They are stripped of their final opportunity to participate and be a part of a team. All of their hard work over the past three years is on display for their last season. Their senior season was supposed to be their best, and the finale has been canceled.
Lacrosse team captain Evan Keiser (‘20) is one of these seniors. Although Evan hopes to play lacrosse for at least another four years at Fairfield University, he wishes his senior season back. He knows that this year was his last to fight for a WCAL and CCS title. More than anything, Evan wishes that he could be on the field, one last time with his brothers.
“What is special to me about the lacrosse program is the level of excellence we are pushed towards in every aspect of our lives. Coach Alpizar sets very high standards for the program on and off the field and builds both the physical and mental toughness necessary to be successful. This is important to me because being on the lacrosse team means I am constantly surrounded by people that bring out the best in each other.”
Coach Alpizar also commented on these high standards he sets for the team,
“Accountability and discipline are important to me. I feel these attributes when prioritized, allow student-athletes the freedom to accomplish their goals.”
Accountability+Discipline=Freedom, an equation thoroughly preached by coach Alpizar and one every lacrosse athlete knows.
Evan also explained what this season meant to him,
“This last year would have encapsulated everything I had been working so hard towards for the last 3 years. This season was to prove that every offseason workout and extra practice I did on my own was worth it to get to where I am, and where the team is now. Unfortunately, we cannot experience this”
Although disappointed Evan also reflected on what the Bellarmine Lacrosse program, high school sports, and Coach Alpizar have privileged him with,
This program has taught me the power of transformation through hard work and the importance of having integrity in everything you do. Whether it’s completing my schoolwork or going to bed on time, I have been pushed to achieve the most out of my high school experience and to never settle with a mediocre performance.
Evan finally shared what motivates him to work as hard as he does, and to never settle,
“The idea of being a man for others inspires me to use my leadership opportunity on the lacrosse team to spread positivity to my other Bellarmine brothers. I am motivated by hard work and seeing people play with their hearts, leaving it all on the field.”
Disappointed no doubt, but Evan knows that what he has learned from his last 4 years will forever stay with him, and forever impact his decisions and his life. This is true for many high school athletes. Regarding not being able to participate, one appreciates the opportunity they had and looks to continue the good habits and valuable lessons they learned from high school sports.