submitted by Riley Presloid
Masks, desk shields, and social distancing are just a few of the new rules added to this school year, but now people are wondering how this is going to affect winter sports. COVID-19 has caused many school districts to have to adjust to new guidelines and regulations for the safety of their students and faculty.
Many of the newest changes impact winter sports and how they will look this year as compared to previous years. This year’s fall sports converted to new revisions but according to Randy Reitz, our Athletic Director, no one really knows what to expect of the upcoming winter season.
Stephen White, the Assistant Athletic Director, describes what the plan is, as of right now, for winter sports.
“Right now, the plan is to get to January 4th and see if we’re still scheduled to get started,” said White. “I take it one day at a time and one week at a time.”
According to Reitz, they are awaiting the governor’s word on how to proceed after the New Year.
Because no one is sure about the future of 2020 winter sports, players and coaches were put into new situations they are not used to according to Mike Carlson, who is the head coach of Punxsy’s Girls Basketball Team. New rules have been put in place such as wearing a mask both on and off the court, which Carlson said has been a daily reminder for his athletes.
Ben Skarbek, who is a senior on the wrestling team, said, “The coaches are limiting contact by containing each wrestler to one practice partner.”
Skarbek said he can imagine how difficult it is for PIAA to work with sports such as wrestling due to the fact that it is an all contact sport. Along with reducing human contact and social distancing as much as possible, Skarbek said that he must also wear a mask the whole time during practice.
Carlson said quarantine has played a role in operating his practices.
“It’s hard,” Carlson said. “With the quarantining sometimes we have fifteen at practice and other days we only have nine. We’re kind of everywhere, but we’re just going minute by minute.”
With not knowing what is going to happen next, Carlson said that everyone just has to enjoy every minute they get and hope for the best.
White also said that topic saying, “Staying positive and hopeful that the season is going to be here is about all we can really do. We really appreciate the support that the kids have given for the things that we are trying to do. It’s a really difficult time for everyone.”
According to Reitz, even with the many downsides COVID has brought this year, athletes and parents have been great through this whole process.
Although this year may be different than what athletes are used to, Reitz, White, Carlson, and Skarbek all explained the importance of staying positive about the situation, and even though no one knows what is going to happen, everyone can still enjoy every minute they get of this winter season.