Sports games canceled due to bus driver shortage


Kate DiTullio

A shortage of buses presented a challenge for athletics during the 2021-22 school year.

Nick Klein, Staff Writer

A bus driver shortage has impacted many sports teams, especially this spring season, leaving athletes wondering if they can get to their games.

 According to a Harbinger survey of 135 students conducted through Google Forms from May 3 to May 8, 62% of students participated in a sport this year, and among those students 58% have been impacted by bus problems more than three times this year. The problem began at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year and the administration has tried to find ways to adjust. 

According to Principal Sean Bevan, the bus driver shortage and resulting scheduling problems is due to the impact of COVID.

“There’s just a shortage of bus drivers,” Bevan said. “Just like you see in restaurants, they are short staffed.”

 As the spring season continues to move forward, Athletic Director Mike Mocerino said he has been caught off guard by the spike in bus cancellations, but is working hard to get athletes to their competitions.

“We’re seeing more of an impact in the spring because we offer more sports,” Mocerino said. “It’s surprising,”

Throughout his  years of being a principal at various Massachusetts high schools, Bevan has never experienced this type of shortage.

“Before [COVID], there seemed to never be a problem with shortages of drivers or subs,” Bevan said.

For all teams this spring season, there have been 133 scheduled away games. As of May, 29 of these games were canceled or postponed due to unavailable buses. Bevan believes Algonquin is not alone in this problem. 

“It’s not only our school,” Bevan said. “The shortage is affecting all schools in our area.” 

During the spring, most sports teams have equally felt the effects of the shortage. However, according to freshman Nathan Davie, who plays JV2 baseball, junior varsity teams have felt the impact the most. 

“It sucks, because we often become the last priority,” Davie said.

Although it has been a lot of work to maintain a steady schedule this year, the athletic department goes through extensive processes to maintain a schedule for all of the teams. 

“We get our schedule months in advance.” Mocerino said. “We send the amount of trips, the locations and the times [to the bus company].”

According to Mocerino, retirements, vaccine mandates and mask requirements limit the number of bus drivers available. However, cooperation with the buses allows for easy adjustments and fixes to the schedule.

“Numerous conversations take place on a daily basis to fix anything with the schedule,” Mocerino said.

Going forward, Mocerino believes the administration will be able to handle anything that comes their way. 

“If we can get through this successfully, then the future will be so much easier.” Mocerino said.