OAK FOREST, Ill. — Since so many high school athletes had to leave sports behind this year, Oak Forest High School coach Pam Whitehead decided to bring soccer to her players instead.
After COVID-19 came to town, players at the far south suburban school got two weeks of practice before they were sidelined for the rest of the season. For now, they can only play in their backyards or driveways.
So Whitehead decided to bring to them bags loaded with goodies they’d get if the season was actually underway: team sweatshirts, pants and snacks from the locker room. It’s a bit of comfort as they live through a difficult life lesson.
“One of the most important things that we try to teach the girls in athletics is that games are full of setbacks but you can dig in and fight back, and no setback is ever final,” Whitehead said. “So this year, they’re learning that in their lives.”