Emi McCullough ‘22: Everything Grace Cashen ‘22 imagined, the 2010/2020 school year at Romeo High School started off fantastic. Then, the year took a turn that never crossed her mind. The 2020 tennis season already started before the quarantine hit, mainly consisting of conditioning. Cashen created goals, practiced everyday, and worked hard to reach those goals. But, when Covid-19 hit, her tennis season became cancelled.

Cashen felt down about her season’s cancelation, but knew the importance of staying safe. Cashen tried to keep her skills up to par at all times, and wants to keep improving.

“Tennis means a lot to me because I love improving my skills and having fun with my teammates. Not having a season this year kind of made me sad because I didn’t get to play with my team,” Cashen said. 

Cashen felt nervous and impatient for the future. Missing a tennis season, her teammates filled her mind everyday. She questioned herself, she questioned the world, and she even created made up scenarios in her head. 

A lot of the tennis players feel the same about missing a season of tennis; one such player being Ava O’ Connell ‘22. O’ Connell loves her team, and they mean the world to her.  She loves contributing to a team, making friends, and creating memories. 

When Covid-19 hit for O’ Connell, it created bumps in the road, making her feel out of control in her own life. 

“Because of quarantine I didn’t get to play last spring, and I didn’t get to practice during the summer as much as I wanted to,” O’ Connell said. 

O’ Connell makes the best of these situations as she learns to adapt and rethink how to stay on track during these hard times. Tennis stays one of her main focuses, never losing sight of her goals and achievements. 

Months went by with no school and quarantine still in place. Cashen went out to the courts with her brother and father a couple times a week. After all her training, she looks forward to this year’s tennis season, even if she needs to wear a mask.

 “I really don’t mind wearing a mask, I’ll do whatever is needed to keep people safe,” Cashen said. 

Excited to get back onto the court, Cashen predicts sports with masks in the spring. She misses playing tennis with her teammates. 

“I have been playing as much as I can, and staying active in my skills and in my goals. I learned that during this time the most I can really do is stay positive,” Cashen said.

Cashen and O’ Connell look forward to a great school year and hopefully a tennis season. Missing out this past season brought them both negative and positive effects. They try to look at everything positively after experiencing the pandemic. Their team accomplished a lot, made memories, and created a family. Now, nothing stands in their way.

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