To whom it may concern,
I have been a part of the Greenwich High School Girls Basketball program for 6 years as a sister, fan, manager, and now player. In 2016, we made it to the state championships at Mohegan Sun as a definite underdog. My sister was a part of that team and it was so apparent the love and trust they had in one another. When they lost, it was absolutely devastating, and that same heartbreak they experienced is exactly what my team is feeling, but even more magnified.
This entire season, every single individual has physically put blood, sweat, and tears in order to produce a win. We have fought opponents and have never given up, getting hit, scratched, and bruised along the way. We have paid for our mistakes with extra sprints and hustled during every single practice and game no matter what. We have also been frustrated in ourselves, our teammates, and sometimes even our coaches, which are all a part of the process.
But most importantly a bond has been developed that has been like nothing I’ve had before. The girls on this team are truly my best friends and people that I trust with my entire life. Right when the news broke out, all I wanted was to be with my team and that’s exactly what we did. We dropped everything that we had and came together as the team that we are.
We sobbed in each other’s arms, trying to comfort each other of the unfair situation we were in, where our opportunity to make history at Greenwich High School was ripped out of our hands. While trying to truly comprehend that our season is over, it has been hard to think that I won’t be going into our locker room at 2:45 and seeing the faces of people that I love so much going to play the sport that we love so much. Our coach has always told us we need to thrive even through adversity. We’ve faced plenty of that throughout our season, having our gym flood (for the second year in a row), baskets not work, and now having our extremely successful state tournament canceled, but all we can do is fight back harder and stronger.
Whoever is reading this might not think that canceling a couple of high school basketball games is a big deal, but my response to that is a whopping no. You are messing with my family here, and that is just not ok. I hope that you reconsider your decision, or that a better alternative is met so my team and I can finish out this successful season and get a State banner in the gym that we have worked 3 months for.
To Whom It May Concern,
The definition of “Proportionality” is having due or corresponding proportion to an action. Today’s decision by the CIAC Executive Director flies in the face of any rational measure of proportionality. I realize the country and our state are facing a serious health concern but canceling this tournament with only two playoff games to play is also a sign of panic. Not a very good example for young student athletes-who happen to still be attending school everyday (Greenwich HS has approximately 3000 students, teachers and administrators working together still).
As a junior captain, this year has meant so much to me and to the rest of my teammates. We have a team chemistry unlike anything I have ever been a part of. We quickly became best friends and it translated to the court. Aside from this, we have had our fair share of obstacles. First, we lost our gym to ruptured pipes and a flood. Our games got moved to Brunswick but we still managed to have an undefeated record at “home.” The Greenwich girls varsity basketball team has handled these situations as a team and never let adversity bother us.
Now we need your help. Please re-consider your options and make CIAC an example of a thoughtful body that works for the student athlete. Creative thinking may lead to a positive outcome for everyone, and if not, at least we will know you took this matter seriously. We stand ready to help you, as a team.
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Jojo Moses and I am a senior captain on the Greenwich High School Girls’ Basketball Team.
I have been playing sports since I was three years old. Soccer, tennis, basketball, golf, you name it. I vividly remember going out into the driveway on spring days with the sun shining down and my Dad carefully working on my shooting form and dribbling technique. I went from using chalk to draw the letters for Around the World to swishing three’s in key moments of State tournament games. The manner in which I grew throughout my years of playing is a true portrayal of how sports allowed me to flourish in every aspect as an individual.
Sports taught me how to understand that even when I am having a bad performance, it is vital to continue cheering for all of your teammates because it is not about you, it’s about the team. Being a leader is not simply about exhibiting the best skills on the court, but becoming the best role-model, hypeman, friend, and overall teammate. I have become more outgoing and caring through reaching out to underclassmen players in order to inspire confidence within them or check up on them after a rough practice. I have grown stronger with every sprint, every push-up, every knock to the floor.
Even more than this, sports demonstrated the thrill of life to me. The idea that no one owes you anything and you must compete day-in and day-out for every minute you play on that court and every ball you want to win, by any means necessary. However, when you earn what you’ve been working so hard for, for example that State Championship medal, nothing in the world can bring you down. Furthermore, the bonds created on any high school sports team are tighter-knit than any other relationships. The moments where my teammates and I have sobbed, screamed, cheered, and embraced with utter sadness at a hard loss or pure joy at a close win cannot be compared to.
As such, I am not ready to see my sports career end. Today when I received the news that the CIAC had decided for the good of the state that all further tournament play should be canceled, I cried my heart out. The time, effort, and love I poured into this sport and the GHS program throughout my four years are unequaled in any other aspect of my life. Our team went from losing by 30 in most games my sophomore year to winning three consecutive games, two of them upsets, in order to make the State Semi-Finals. My team, the three additional girls’ basketball teams left in the CIAC tournament, and the other CIAC winter sports teams still in their respective tournaments, deserve to play. Although I understand the conditions under which we could potentially play would not be the same as before, due to safety concerns for the Coronavirus, we are willing to play with no fans, in alternate locations, or on alternate dates. We just want to play.
Thank you for your time.
To whom it may concern,
The frustration that fills my every thought is caused by the premature decision to cancel the state games. For years, I have done nothing but focus on winning a state championship, where everything that I do is tied to my ambitions.
My dad once told me that you need to match your aspirations with your actions to achieve greatness. Ever since I heard this in the 3rd grade, I knew that I would have to match my potential with hard work and determination. Through the years, I have battled with confidence, criticism, and others’ opinions. As the years have gone by, the same goal of wanting to compete with my best level of play has kept me steady in trying to achieve my dreams.
Greenwich girls basketball has dealt with a lot in its time and has never been able to conquer a state championship. As I look at my teammates, I not only see a family, but my best friends working to accomplish greatness. Each of us attempting to be the best players and people that we can be.
I feel that a part of me has been stripped of my hard work and dedication. I get up at 5:45 most mornings to get to school. I work out for an hour so that I can get extra time and reps in the gym over my opponents. I have continued to maintain my grades, pushing myself academically (all honors courses). The best part of my day is practice. Each day I strive to get better and continue to work on my game even when the training is over, and everyone has left the gym. I then go home to finish my homework around midnight. This schedule is just on repeat.
I do it because I love the game, and want to achieve my goals. My hard work and dedication are one of the many things I am proud of in my character. After hearing this news, my stomach sinks with the idea that nothing will come from my consistency.
Without this opportunity, the goals that I have been working for years to achieve might as well be rubbish. I have spent too much time, effort, and emotions into this game to not even have the dignity of losing. The concept that my hard work was pushed aside, and not considered to be worthy of trying to reschedule is an outrage that many are upset by.
The love and effort that my team and I share were discarded in this arrangement, and I have no shame in feeling depressed and outraged by this decision. I hope the adults making this choice can reflect on something they have put their blood, sweat, and tears into. Think of your daughter, son, niece or nephew being torn apart by the very thing they spent their whole life working toward. I am crushed, and I hope that you can see that it’s not just high school games you are canceling, it’s everything I have ever worked for being pushed aside.
To those it concerns,
My name is Ava Sollenne. I am a freshman at Greenwich High School, and I play for the Girls Varsity Basketball team. This was my first season playing as a Cardinal. Looking back at the very beginning of the season, our team was simply a group of students joined together by the common goal of playing basketball. But now, we have become so much more than that. We have transformed into a family.
To come this far and work this hard just to have it all taken away is not fair. We are willing to compromise, and do whatever it takes to play these last games.
We are not here for just the wins — we are here for the battles, the tears, the laughs, the endless hours of practice, the hardships, the memories, and most importantly, overcoming adversity together.
There are seniors here that have dreamed and waited 4 years or even their whole life for an opportunity like this. They do not deserve for it all to be taken away without having any control. We’ve conquered so much this season. Fighting to do what we love is next on our list. Families don’t go down without a fight. They don’t separate. They unite. I speak for every team here —we’re here to STAY, so please let us play.
To whom it may concern,
I, Julia Conforti, am strongly in favor of changing the decision made by the CIAC to cancel the rest of winter sports tournaments. I am a senior at Greenwich High School and a captain of the Varsity Basketball team. Not only do I believe that my teammates and coaching staff have worked very hard to get to be in the final four, but considering my history it was especially disappointing.
I have been playing basketball for about twelve years and I don’t know what my life is like without this sport. I am not going to college for basketball, but I do intend to try and walk on or participate in some way or form. This means these last two games were actually my last two games. This in itself is heartbreaking to me, but to have the last two most important games of my career cut off is nothing short of unacceptable. Playing a sport all my life isn’t that special, but the fact that I was out an entire year is what really frustrates me.
After making varsity as a freshman, I went into sophomore year ready to dominate. I was way more comfortable on the team and that summer particularly I had improved significantly. First scrimmage of the year came and my season ended within minutes. Taken from me like it was nothing. Like everything I worked for meant nothing; much like this situation.
I tore my ACL in said game and was out until two months prior to junior year tryouts. I had never in my entire life spent so much time away from basketball. I hated every second of it; I couldn’t stand practices or games because it hurt me so much to watch everyone be able to play. This injury was so long and I was constantly in physical and mental pain.
Junior year I remembered what it felt like to have that “runners high” again. The adrenaline, the sweat, the excitement, and I even missed the losses. I missed my family. I came back happier than ever and eager to play. We ended the season with a pretty bad record, but I was still smiling through it all. Senior year quickly came and I was blessed with the best teammates. They don’t only have my back on the court, but outside of basketball as well. We love hanging out and genuinely have a great time together.
Our success this season didn’t come easy to us; we had a young team and it took time to adapt. We faced a lot of adversities and it honestly had come to a point where it was funny. We didn’t have a home gym- worked through it. Two or more baskets were always broken- we overcame it. We had little to no people in the stands when the other team’s section was filled- we ignored it. This team doesn’t just practice and win, we fight and dig our way up from massive holes. Holes we didn’t dig ourselves.
We have done everything and more this season to get to where we are and we won’t let it end here. We deserve the chance to win, we deserve the chance to lose and be sad and wish we had done things differently. I want to experience this and know what it feels like to be in the final four and possibly move on. So please, reconsider. It doesn’t have to be so drastic; so black and white. The games could be postponed or we don’t even need an audience.
We, the teenagers who have such a love and passion for the games we play, ask sincerely to please reconsider and let us have a chance to do something great or nothing at all. Please let us know what the future holds.
Thank you for your time.
All these letters were sent to the CIAC by members of the Greenwich girls basketball team.