By Lorna Baxley
This school year is a little different from most years in the past. Because of the CoronaVirus, sports practice and games have become a little harder to organize while also making sure that everyone is safe. Precautionary measures are constantly being enforced, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
Kyle Yost, a sports medicine specialist, in an interview with the University of Maryland says, “I believe all sports impact children as none are going on currently in an organized fashion… One thing to keep in mind is that, at one point, things will improve. Things may not be back to the old normal, but we will be able to get back outside and back to schools and other social gatherings. Keep encouraging children by having them plan for the future as they will have something to look forward to when things begin to normalize.” Additionally, the CDC says that, “Sports that require frequent closeness between players may make it more difficult to maintain social distancing, compared to sports where players are not close to each other. For close-contact sports (e.g., wrestling, basketball), play may be modified to safely increase distance between players.”
West High, despite these issues, is doing its very best to keep students safe, and those efforts do not stop at the classroom.
Gracie Bunch, a sophomore basketball player, notes that, “It’s been harder because we couldn’t really do our normal camps and tournaments that we do in the summer since they were all canceled, and it has made it harder to practice because it’s kind of hard to social distance when basketball is such a team-oriented sport.”
Junior volleyball player, Yakelin Hernandez, comments that, “CoronaVirus has shortened our season and given us a late start to practices this year. We’re having to work extra hard to keep up. Practices are also hard because it’s hard to stay six feet away from your teammates all the time, but we’re doing our best.”
Carrie Kemmis, the sophomore flag representative for West High’s Colorguard, states, “Because of the pandemic, we weren’t allowed to go to our usual band camp that’s held at ETSU, so we had to do it at home this year. We all still wear our masks at all times to ensure everyone’s safe, and we even make sure we don’t stand too close to each other while out on the field. Also, for safety reasons, the band is not allowed to go to away football games and can only attend the home ones at Burke Toney Stadium.”
Sports have an important effect on kids’ lives. Right now, however, keeping everyone safe is the highest priority of West High. Students and faculty both hope to be back to regular practice and game schedules!