Jake Harrison has always been a little skeptical about high school sports this year.

The Boston Latin School senior, like any high school basketball player, had been looking forward to his senior season for years. But the coronavirus doesn’t care about plans and dreams. So Harrison was prepared to finish his last year of high school without basketball.

“Throughout the summer as we started to get a bigger picture and actually know what was going on, I fully didn’t expect us to have a season," he said.

In the fall and early winter, even as COVID-19 numbers fluctuated, the BLS cross-country and golf teams continued to play. Both their seasons ended early. Athletes were hopeful, though, that winter sports would start on schedule in the district on Jan. 4.

But then — the week before the season was scheduled to begin — BPS pushed the season back to an unspecified date. Before that postponement, Harrison had been running on a treadmill at home, trying to stay in shape for the truncated season.

“Running every day or working out, that’s something that our coaches won’t be able to give us because we only have that hour, hour and a half to practice, memorize plays and stuff," he said.

Mason Lawson, a point guard at Boston Latin Academy, had been playing outside in the cold before the snow came. Even with COVID cases higher than when school started in the fall, he was geared up and ready to go.

“Honestly, everyone I’ve talked to about playing basketball, I haven’t heard anything negative," he said. "It’s just been like, ‘I can’t wait to play, I can’t wait to play. Like, when are we playing?’”

Besides the significance and thrill of playing in his senior season, Lawson was looking forward to getting more film of him playing for college scouts to look at.

“This year I was looking forward to getting offers and more looks and stuff," he said. "But corona slowed all that down. So now I think I’m going to do a post-grad year after BLA.”

All of that came before the district’s decision to put off the start of winter sports. While it still leaves some room for a start to the season, every delay at this point makes that prospect more complicated.

Paige Lemieux, the athletic director at Charlestown High School, points out that part of what makes the situation difficult for students in Boston is seeing other communities getting a chance to play.

“So when you have students calling you and saying, ‘Hey, I just saw my friend doing tryouts in XYZ. Why can’t we play in the city?’" she said, "I think that’s the delicate dance and the balance we’re trying to find is being safe, but providing our students with equal opportunity that some of their suburban friends have.”

It's been especially hard dealing with the ups and downs. And the waiting.

“Everything’s crazy. Two days ago, it was on the 4th. Yesterday, it’s not on the 4th. Today, it’s only Boston City League,'" he said. "So I mean, every single day it’s changing.”

If there’s a new start date, it will bring with it the challenge of fitting everything in before the winter season is scheduled to end in late February.

Harrison said it’s frustrating, but he had expected there would be a delay — or a cancellation. He’s looking forward to playing in college, but If there’s no season this year, he knows there’s a bigger picture besides just basketball.

“I’m gonna be sad," he said. "But if you look at it in an overall view, we’re keeping people safe. So, I mean it’s a bummer for us, but for our community I feel like it would be better. Especially if it’s putting people’s lives at risk.”

High school sports aren’t supposed to be mired in debates of public health. But as the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, athletes are having to accept the chaos that comes with just wanting to play.