High school sports procedures regarding COVID-19

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LHS fall sports are back in 2020!

After all spring sports getting canceled in 2020, coming back to school in the fall had every student-athlete ready for sports to be back. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19, practicing, competing and spectating will not be the same as previous years. Although athletes are excited to be back and competing for their schools, there are several precautions athletes have to take in order to play the sport they love during a national pandemic. 

While fans only see what athletes are doing at their games, matches or races, athletes are really putting safety first at practices as well. 

“As far as practice goes, we have a schedule where we are never together for more than 15 minutes at a time, so we are constantly moving from constant activities and drills and stuff so we are never in close contact with each other,” said senior wide receiver, Luke Smith.

Being quarantined for 14 days can take a huge chunk out of a season for players. With football being one of the more contact sports, coaches and players are doing everything they can to make sure that even during  practice, players never come in close contact with one another for an extended period of time.

Even for sports that are not often thought of as close contact sports, safety precautions are still over the top, daily to make sure that all athletes are continuing to keep themselves and their teammates healthy.

“Everytime we come to practice we have to get screened, so the teachers or coaches just ask us if we have any symptoms,” said junior cross country runner, Hannah Dumanski.

Travel has also been a huge part of an issue with COVID-19. Making sure athletes can get to their away competitions, while also staying safe on the bus can be a difficult task for everyone. 

“We have to be spread out a little more, and  we have to wear a mask on the bus and have an empty seat in between us,” said sophomore golfer, Jack Hilgenberg.

The unknown of how opposing players or teammates may be treating the virus can often be intimidating for athletes. The key for success of a team is oftentimes working together on the field, but in this case, trust off the field is just as important.

“You just have to trust your teammates that they’ll do the right thing and do what’s best for the team,” said Hilgenberg.

Knowing that the season could end at any moment, the athletes explain that competing for LHS has brought on a new perspective for them and their season.

“It has made me value my sport a little more because when we couldn’t run together it made it a lot worse, so it kinda made me appreciate that we get to see each other every day,” said Dumanski.

As for the football team, they have just been grateful for the opportunity to play.

“It has made me appreciate everything we have had so far, because we could have had nothing. I’m just glad we have got to have a few games, and hopefully we will get a full season,” said Smith. 

Competing for LHS is something that not many people get to experience. Several athletes this season have been grateful for the opportunity to play, while also making the right choices on and off the field to save their seasons.