COVID 19 makes detrimental impact on school sports

Athletes have had to face many challenges to get back to their courts, field and pools

Spike%3A+Lake+Stevens+High+School+girls+volleyball+team+attacks+the+ball+during+practice.+Even+during+Covid%2C+they+played+strong+in+practice+and+in+games.+A+junior%2C+Coby+Gundry+witnessed+how+hard+they+were+playing.+%22Yeah%2C+they+were+playing+pretty+good%2C%22+C.+Gundry+said.

Isaac Xiong

Spike: Lake Stevens High School girls volleyball team attacks the ball during practice. Even during Covid, they played strong in practice and in games. A junior, Coby Gundry witnessed how hard they were playing. “Yeah, they were playing pretty good,” C. Gundry said.

The coronavirus has had an impact on all of us – it has taken family members and friends from us. Until recently, coronavirus had taken sports from us as well. The WIAA has made the decision to let high school sports move forward. This has been a bright spot for student-athletes, but due to the ongoing global pandemic, there are many modifications to the typical high school sports situation. Many of these changes have had a major impact on athletes of every sport.

Currently, the majority of sports that are in season are what would typically be fall sports, along with that, volleyball and tennis are also playing. The first change to their typical sports season, which is arguably the most noticeable, is there are no fans in the stands. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, no spectators are allowed at sporting events, a development that disappointed athletes. With the lack of spectators and energy in the stadium, it has made it pretty hard for the athletes to get that same game-day feeling that they would otherwise have in a normal year.

”It’s really sad. It is so quiet. The games are just silent and the energy just isn’t there,” senior volleyball player Maddie Iseminger said.

The lack of spectators isn’t the only change that is having an effect on the athletes. Another change due to COVID-19 is the requirement to wear masks during their games and matches. Referees are now being told to punish or talk to players, who do not wear their masks properly while participating in their particular sports. The first and obviously biggest problem due to masks is the lack of airflow. Athletes of all sports have complained about the difficulties of breathing when doing athletic activities.

“Yes, especially during practice,” junior girls varsity goalkeeper Tayla Peterson said.

The effects of COVID-19 on athletes does not only appear on the field. Athletes have limited locker room access. Most pregame traditions have had to take a break due to the pandemic. For the most part, teams are not allowed to gather outside of their sport in larger groups. Without the typical off-the-field team moments, it has been harder for teams to build chemistry. Many athletes have claimed there has been an effect on their performance since they can’t get together outside of their specific practice or matches.

“I feel to an extent because everyone is scared to hang out,” said senior cross country runner Emma Lund.

It is clear that athletes of all sports are being affected by COVID-19 and hopefully their activities will be back to normal in the near future.