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Tackling challenges in sports
Christina Garr
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

COVID-19 has created many challenges for athletes and coaches.

“It has definitely been different. They aren’t horrible or unbearable changes though. The hardest part is not being able to interact with people as much as you would like too,” freshman Karsen Vandegift said. “I would much rather have a lot of guidelines than no season at all. I’m glad we got the opportunity to play especially since it’s my freshman year.”

The amount of changes depends on the sport played. For volleyball, many changes had to be made for the season to happen. 

“The changes are easy to work with for me and masks don’t really bother me because they are at least letting us play this year,” junior Trenna Dold said. “The guidelines are pretty easy to follow and are simple. Overall, I think the changes have helped me become a better teammate and student in general.”

Football and cross country stayed the same for the most part.

“I think the most confusing part about football is we have to be socially distant from one another, but we’re still able to do a contact sport,” seventh grader Bryson Koch said. “The hardest part right now is you don’t know if the other team has come in contact with COVID or not.”

Different students face different challenges. Some are because of moving here and some are just based on the sport played. 

“A challenge I face as an athlete during COVID is transferring schools. It’s a lot different going from a big school playing 11 man to a small school playing 8 man,” junior Dakota Goza said. “It’s also different going from a tackle to a guard.”

During sports practice, coaches must change how they do their activities. Games have a lot more guidelines and some of them change often. The locker room situation is different than past years. 

“In practice we do a lot more activities in pods rather than as a whole group. In games there are a lot more restrictions interacting with the other team,” high school volleyball coach LeAnn Hansford said. “The volleyball guidelines have changed almost weekly. Some schools don’t even give locker rooms. Coach Jirak and I have arranged to stagger start times [for our  practices].” 

Students are confused about some of the rules put in place for volleyball and football, and they are disappointed that they don’t get the opportunity to go to away games. 

“Some sports have changed quite a few things and some of the new rules for volleyball and football have me confused. I know that students aren’t allowed to go to a lot of the away games,” senior Liz McLaren said. “I personally am really disappointed about that because last year I went to every football game, and a lot of the volleyball games to support my friends. I am also really disappointed that I can’t do that as much as I did last year, but I am glad that we still get the opportunity to have sports!”