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2021 Team Photo ~ Arlington High School (MA)  Girls Basketball

Clare Flanagan

Arlington High School

Class of 2021


I wake up at 8:10 am. I use the bathroom, put on a pair of pajama pants, different from the ones I am currently wearing, and throw on one of five sweatshirts I have in my rotation. I walk downstairs, fill up my water bottle, check my phone as I greet my dad and dog coming inside from their morning walk. After making sure I don’t have to empty the dishwasher or rotate some laundry, I trudge back upstairs to sit in a somewhat comfortable chair for seven hours. This, people, is my senior year of high school and I am on day 114 of this routine.

This 2020/21 version of home school isn’t without its perks. I have some nice breaks in between classes to venture as far as my kitchen for a fried egg with toast and the dregs of the coffee pot. I usually run into a parent looking to snag the same bottom 8 ounces and this is where the cafeteria drama happens. At least I don’t have to scan the room for friends to sit with, but instead I just assume the same kitchen table chair that I’ve been sitting in since age five is waiting for me. My dog, Auggie, is my new lunch buddy. Soon, it is time to head back up stairs to continue the staring contest between teachers and students. At 2:56 pm, I walk downstairs because school is out, I check my phone, and then unplug my laptop to begin my homework – couch-style. This is my EVERY SINGLE DAY.

At 4:07 pm, my day takes a turn! It is time to get ready for basketball practice and woo hoo I get to leave my house! Basketball is a good time! And believe me when I tell you that I now know what a truly good time feels like. The eight seniors on the team have been playing together since 4th grade. Practice brings us the same laughs, the same physically brutal workouts, and the same mentally tough drills, but this year it fills my craving for human connection. This craving is a new sensation and it can take me to a low place, if I spend too much time away from friends. From 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Covid doesn’t exist for me. Besides needing to wear a mask, everything feels normal; just like it was before March 13th of 2020. I chat with my teammates about the newest episode of This is Us and we complain about all of the work our teachers are assigning. As my preschool teachers used to say, basketball practice “fills my bucket.” My connection to this team is the fuel I need to get through days 115, 116, 117 . . .

My hours after practice look the same as my hours leading up to practice – more screens, more bedroom walls, way too much time with family. I know there was so much controversy over whether to allow highschool sports this year. We had hard discussions about it at home and in our community. I don’t know what the right answer is for everyone, but I know it is the right answer for me, a life-line during my senior year. We ended our basketball season as league champs, a first for Arlington High School in women’s basketball. It looks like I may never get to wear a prom dress, but a banner will hang in the gym that says 2021 Middlesex Champions. It’s something.



Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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