A Deeper Look Into 2021 Winter Sports


Hannah Zaritski

Picture taken in State College Area High School gymnasium.

Hannah Zaritski, Staff Writer

The winter sports season is in full swing at State High, and teams are busy with practices. State High offers four different varieties of winter sports, including Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball, Hockey, Indoor Track and Field, Swimming/Diving, and Wrestling. 

The State High Swim and Dive Team has been working hard year-round, building the team beyond the pool prior to the season. The group kicked off by hosting team-building camps to help deepen the bond among the group and excite everyone for the winter. 

Junior Ally Koehle, who swims for the State High team, expressed her excitement for this year’s season by explaining both her personal goals and her ultimate motivation. 

“I am really looking forward to trying to accomplish the goal for our team: to go undefeated,” Koehle said. 

In prior years, the team usually only loses one meet a season and comes neck and neck to gain the win over Hershey. 

“Winning all of our meets this season would be a fantastic way to prepare to perform well at states,”  Koehle said. 

Koehle also expressed how swimming is not just an individual sport, but a team sport as they get farther into the season. 

“When I get behind the block, I know that I am competing for the girls that are cheering for me in the stands. That is enough to motivate me on the worst days,” Koehle said. 

The State High Swim and Dive Team’s first meet took place on Dec. 14 at Cumberland Valley. 

As for State College Wrestling, team members have been working hard to train in the off-season both mentally and physically. Sophomore Pierson Manville explained how confidence is vital when walking into a new season hoping to do nothing but succeed. 

“I feel confident in my abilities because I know that I can help the team,” Manville said. 

Wrestlers are excited about being back in the training room this season and helping each other reach their full potential, maybe even bringing home a team state title. The team is working on focusing on the season, and not allowing anything to prevent them from doing so.  

“We as wrestlers cannot let distractions get in the way of something better,” Manville said. 

The first day of the wrestling season started on Nov. 19, and the team hopes to put everything they have worked for in the off-season into the best season yet. 

As for some other sports at State High, like indoor track, this season will look very different than last year due to the drastic change in COVID-19 protocols. Winter track, being an indoor sport, ended up losing the competitive indoor season they all hoped for last year. 

Senior Shannon Mullin is excited for the official track season to begin after preparing for the upcoming season through participating in fall sports such as cross country. Off-season training is important for not only the individual runners, but also those who are part of a group event.  Winter track, for example, is a very popular sport for students to partake in to prepare for their spring sports. 

“Even though we didn’t have any meets last year, I am really grateful for the winter training because it gives me a good starting point for the spring,” Mullin said. 

The importance of off-season training is crucial for a thriving season, especially after missing out on quite a few events due to COVID-19. Outside activities allow preparation for the season and give athletes a lead going into the beginning of the season. 

Winter track had its first indoor meet on Dec. 15, 2021, at Penn State University. 

State College Girls’ and Boys’ basketball declined interview requests, but the girls’ team kicked off their first game of the season at home on Dec. 2, 2021 in the main gym, and the boys played at Hollidaysburg Area Highschool on Dec. 2, 2021, as well. 

The State College Ice Hockey club kicked off its first home game on Nov. 4, 2021. 

If students are interested in showing support to the State College Little Lions, all athletic schedules are posted on the State Athletics Home page.