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The Student News Site of Friends Seminary

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The Insight

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What Happened to Friends Athletics Trips?

The Boys Varsity Basketball arriving at their Arizona hotel in December, 2019. The team went on to win the NYSAIS State Championship.

Athletics is a major part of Friends Seminary spirit, and around 57 percent of students in the Upper School have played on sports teams this year. Before the pandemic, most teams had their own trips during breaks. With the end of the pandemic, the idea of bringing back athletics trips has been on the minds of many student-athletes, such as Miles Sims 24’, a member of the Boys Varsity Baseball Team, who said, “I think they would be fun if they were to start happening again.”

David Lieber and Catherine Guierriere, Co-Directors of Athletics at Friends, described the possibility of Friends resuming athletic trips. For 15 to 20 years before the pandemic, Friends Seminary offered some form of trip for almost every sports team. During winter break, the Boys Varsity Basketball team would travel to Tempe, Arizona for four to five days and participate in a tournament with other private schools. After the tournament, the team would have a day or two to explore Tempe and go sightseeing.

During spring break there were two sets of trips, the tennis and golf trip, and the baseball and softball trip. In preseason, the baseball and softball teams would travel to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The teams would have a week of practice in great weather at professional facilities and have the opportunity to scrimmage against other schools. The baseball trip always had near total attendance, while the softball team had far less –  one reason why the softball trip was canceled before the pandemic. Another trip during spring break was to Saddlebrook Resort in Florida for the tennis and golf teams. The trip had a few problems: participation was often lacking, and there were issues with the venue. This trip ended a few years before the pandemic due to these problems and, like the other trips, has not resumed since.

The soccer team had a trip; however, it only happened twice. During the summer, the soccer team went to Trinidad and Tobago. The first time was the preseason for the 2016 NYSAIS championship team. The second time was two years later when Warren Salandy, coach of the Boy’s Varsity Soccer Team, brought both the boys’ and girls’ teams on the same trip. This trip also involved a service component, as the teams would hold a clinic for young Trinidadian and Tobagian players. While this was an amazing trip, it remains to be seen if it or any of the other sports trips will continue in the future.

Before the pandemic, Friends stopped a few of these trips. Each trip had its own set of problems that needed to be rethought and the pandemic brought them all to a halt. Last year there was talk about resuming the basketball trip, but when the time came, the school realized that the tournament did not require vaccinations, and chose not to send the basketball team as a safety precaution. Since basketball didn’t happen that year, neither did baseball.

While Guerriere and Lieber have said they are willing to consider resuming the trips, they haven’t been talked about much, and thus the consensus seems to be that the trips will not resume soon. These trips require a lot of planning and were daunting challenges pre-pandemic. The trips might resume in the future pending student interest, but as of now, there are no definite plans.

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About the Contributor
Spencer Buten, Senior Editor
Spencer is in 12th grade and is serving as a Senior Editor this year. He has been at Friends Seminary since kindergarten, has two siblings, and loves playing for the soccer and tennis teams. He has written for The Insight since freshman year, and likes to write about food and sports.

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