For the first time in 11 months, high school basketball and hockey games were played in Connecticut on Monday.
It’s been 336 days since the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference canceled the state basketball tournament last March as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the nation. Since then, student-athletes have been wondering if and when they would get the chance to play again.
“We didn’t know if we’d have a season, so just being out here is a blessing and we’re all super excited,” said East Catholic senior Luke Strole.
“It was tough last year having the state tournament get canceled, so it’s good to be back with the guys,” said East Catholic senior Matt Houde. “We’ve got a lot of potential in here, so I’m excited.”
East Catholic is the defending Division I state champions, winning the title back in 2019. They enter this season with high expectations.
“We’ve worked really hard in the time that we’ve had and we’re ready to play,” said East Catholic senior Craig Wilson.
“Guys are just fired up to be here, getting better and I’ve said before the seniors get a chance to compete,” said East Catholic head coach Luke Reilly. “You never know if you’re going to get a chance to put the uniform on again, so they’re thrilled about that.”
All athletes will wear masks at all times and the season will be a maximum of 12 games, followed by a tournament experience.