Don’t Call It a Comeback!

By Kim Eng, Director of Athletics

Girls Soccer Pod

On March 2nd, the first day of spring sports, EPS made the difficult decision to close its physical doors and transition into the challenging, but safer, world of remote learning. EPS sports teams were also forced to shift into “quarantine mode” and adapt to the new COVID-driven realities, and I’m proud of the incredible efforts our coaches made to hold remote practices, keep our athletes’ spirits up, and maintain the camaraderie that is the core of the EPS sports experience.

Boys Basketball Pod

While initially the hope was that these precautions would only be temporary, the virus unfortunately didn’t relent, and the chances of salvaging a “normal” year of sports for 2020-2021 seemed slim at best. Across all levels of the educational system, from middle school through college, season start dates got postponed, schedules were shifted, and all normal athletic operations got disrupted. Student athletes across Washington State were informed by the WIAA that sports seasons wouldn’t be able to start until after the New Year—at the earliest.

Boys Tennis Pod

And yet, if there’s one lesson sports teaches, it’s resiliency. No matter what gets thrown at you, you find a way to adapt. And this fall, I’m happy to say, our Eagles have done just that! Starting this week, thanks to our incredible coaches, EPS has devised a plan to be able to offer our Upper School student-athletes some semblance of normalcy. We have come up with a system that will involve 30 pods of athletes getting the opportunity to participate (although not formally compete) in basketball, soccer, tennis, ultimate, volleyball, rowing and cross country—all while following strict safety guidelines and protocols.

Boys Ultimate Pod

But despite these pesky restrictions, and against all odds, the happy truth remains: we’re going to be playing sports this year! Students will get the opportunity to be active and most importantly, will get to reunite with their friends and coaches for some much-needed interaction, even if it’s from a few extra feet apart.

Rowing Pods

It has been so nice seeing everyone out on the field, court, and water again. Assuming all goes as planned and we get the go-ahead from health experts, we will resume normal operations—or as close to normal as can be safely implemented—in 2021!