Athletic Teams Adapt to Play in a Pandemic

Ellie Roberts, Staff Reporter

Balls bouncing in the gym, bats cracking on the field, the gun shot that starts the race, and the cheers from the fans are all sounds athletes love to hear. However due to Covid-19,  sports are more difficult to take part in than they were a few years ago.  Athletes all over the world are struggling to get steady practice time and the normal game experience while the pandemic continues. 

Since March of 2019, sports lovers have been battling in their biggest fight yet.  Due to restrictions such as quarantines, masks, and social distancing, it is very difficult to carry out normal sporting events.  This is an ongoing issue that will continue in the foreseeable future. 

There were a lot of instances when someone would get sick and we would all have to quarantine.  This would cause us to miss lot of practice, making us seem unprepared in our games.

— Olivia Tierney, GCHS sophomore

Athletes all over are struggling to get into a stable schedule and be able to consistently train with their team. Eddie Roberts, who coaches a fifth and sixth grade basketball team in Frankfort said,  “It is more difficult to plan for practice due to not knowing whether or not our players are going to be able to participate.  There are so many factors going into us having to quarantine, and with some getting sick that it’s hard to utilize the practice time we do have.”  

Olivia Tierney, a sophomore basketball player at Great Crossing said, “One of the hardest parts of Covid right now is not knowing if we are going to be able to play or not.”  It is unknown what is going to happen next and the next practice or game is not guaranteed.  “There are also times where we get games scheduled randomly just so that we are able to play one more game.”

Due to all the restrictions being put into place, it affects the successfulness of the athletes and their team. “There were a lot of instances when someone would get sick and we would all have to quarantine.  This would cause us to miss a lot of practice, making us seem unprepared in our games,” Tierney stated.  “There were also so many games we had to miss, meaning we weren’t able to get in-game reps and compete as a team.”

Not only has the fear of the unknown affected these athletes, but the precautions taken are causing issues for those with underlying health issues.  “I have asthma and it is very hard to breathe as it is. It doesn’t help that I have to wear a mask while playing,” said Tierney.

Coach Roberts relies a lot on team camaraderie while coaching, but he acknowledges that now it is hard to find time for everyone to spend time getting to know each other, while playing it safe and following the guidelines in place for athletics and team sports. 

Now that it is evident that nobody can ever tell what is going to happen next, players and coaches are realizing how thankful they are to be able to play their sport. Emma Tinsley, a sophomore at Western Hills High School, acknowledged that she sees the chance to play with her team as a privilege now. 

Though it has been difficult to make everything work during the pandemic, teams are still staying strong and working together to get through it.  Hopefully this school year will bring more opportunities for athletes and they will be able to have more normal seasons.