Walking into the gym and the smell of sweat and determination enters the air. The crowd is crazy and cheering and clapping as the twelve girls on the court compete to make the perfect pass, set, and spike. The adrenaline in the room gets higher and higher as the game goes on and each team gets closer to twenty-five. The game gets to twenty-three to twenty-four. The crowd throws their hands up as the outside hitter gets the last kill of the game. They start hugging, and yelling, and watching the girls congratulate their teammates. These are the days we miss. Ones that aren’t possible anymore because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Guidelines and restrictions were required to make this 2020-2021 season as exciting and safe as possible.
This year at Great Crossing High School, and all over the state, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA), placed certain restrictions and guidelines, such as, having to wear a mask during the game, and required temperature checks, and lots of sanitization, to help forward the 2020-2021 seasons to continue. GCHS Head Volleyball Coach Adam Ivetic stated, “They put it (the guidelines) so that it would kind of apply to all sports. And then they tried to give some sports some specific direction, but it was still pretty unclear. So, we were always trying to do everything on the safe side. And it was definitely a struggle.”
One main thing that was very different this year about all sports games, was the restrictions to sit in the stands. “Wearing a mask is awkward and somewhat of a nuisance, but people realize the purpose of the mask is their safety,” said audience member Shelly Morrison. Morrison is a family member of one of the players and attended volleyball games regularly.
Regular season sports is something we all will miss, but as time goes on and numbers tend to change, these changes may become permanent. “I think that I can see them keeping the lack of coin toss, hand shakes, and switching benches. I think that those things might stick around for the long haul,” stated Coach Ivetic.
Although these guidelines were very different and in some ways difficult to adapt to, players and coaching staff seemed very appreciative about getting to play. “It was stressful at times, having to keep track of another set of guidelines, but I’m very thankful we were able to play this year,” said Delaney Waldridge, a sophomore participant in the 2020 GCHS volleyball season.