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The Rise of AAU Sports During Covid

During the pandemic, ELHS students take advantage of AAU sports to improve

Will Potopowitz

Sports are still pushing through this pandemic, and ELHS athletes are finding a new court to play despite many high schools closing last spring and partially re-opening this fall. During the summer
and these unprecedented times at school, sports have been found through AAU. “AAU has helped me get better by giving me extra practice against a wide variety of people, especially during this time when
most people don’t have the privilege of playing,” said sophomore Quinn Killoy.
The AAU is an organization created to help youth athletes become better at their
sport of choice with the chance to play for different organizations. ELHS has many AAU athletes, including
sophmores Quinn Killoy and Peter Sherwood, two baseball players that play for the CT Crush,
a local AAU team located in East Lyme. AAU baseball is very prominent in Connecticut, as there are many teams near by that play all year round.
“My favorite thing is that you get the opportunity to play with others outside of our town, learn from
them, and become friends. You also get coached by other coaches and get a different perspective from
them,” said Sherwood.

“It’s great to do if they love the game and want to start developing their skills more progressively,” both Killoy and Sherwood said when talking about whether or not future athletes should consider AAU.
Connecticut Basketball

Academy is a local AAU hoops option that sophomore Drew Beckham plays for all year round. “I do
think AAU makes you better as a player and a person, because you are constantly competing
in many different tournaments with different atmospheres,” said Beckham. Beckham recommends
AAU basketball for the same reasons both Killoy and Sherwood do. “It helps you improve your skills playing against great competition,” he said.

Girls varsity basketball coach and junior varsity baseball coach P.J. Zipser notices a downside and upside to AAU.“I think AAU is generally good for the most part. It’s a good opportunity for kids to keep playing when they are not in school, but I feel it can sometimes give kids a false sense of their abilities,” said Mr. Zipser. “It can be great though. Anything you can do to get better will help you,” mentioning the extra rep aspect as well. Even with the threat of coronavirus surrounding all, AAU made it possible for kids to continue playing sports in a safe setting, with safety for the kids always being the number one priority.

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