At the beginning of fall sports athletes had to comply new covid policy

The+varsity+football+team+during+practice+on+the+high+school+football+field+on+September+25.+The+team+is+preparing+for+the+exciting+upcoming+season.

Photo submitted by Darrell Salmi

The varsity football team during practice on the high school football field on September 25. The team is preparing for the exciting upcoming season.

At the beginning of fall sports this year, athletes had to comply with a new policy regarding COVID-19. The policy is in place because of the pandemic and it is there to keep every student safe. Some parents have decided to re-enroll their students in athletics, but because of the pandemic there is a catch. Athletes will have to be socially distantanced, wear a face mask and practice their sport in pods according to MDH guidelines.

Practices are a vital part of athletics because it keeps players on their feet and it builds trust within the team. Some have been wondering about how they were going to make practices remain helpful with the current guidelines. Practice occurs outdoors for many sports and many things have remained the same. With some sports like basketball, players have to wipe down any equipment with disinfectant.

Practices also tie in to school pride because athletes are proud of what they have accomplished with their team, and they want to put that practice to work in a game. According to goponies.org, the school has a “very proud athletic tradition.”

I don’t think this hurts the tradition of the Ponies from a playing standpoint. Our athletes work hard, play hard, and do the best they can”

— Ricky Micheal

“I don’t think this hurts the tradition of the Ponies from a playing standpoint. Our athletes work hard, play hard, and do the best they can,” Athletic Director Ricky Michael said. “Pride is something very special to have, pride shows in how we recover as humans, pride is something that Ponies will always have, and it shows in our athletes.”

With a different type of practice and games and new regulations, it could possibly change how athletes feel about it. With spacing guidelines and more restrictions, players can feel more isolated and alone, even though they are part of a team.

“I think it will make us better as we will have to work together as a team,” sophomore Michael Tague said.

Even though many students do follow the guidelines, there are also many who ignore the new regulations because it is different and more difficult to maintain.

“Some students are but most students are not just because they don’t want to change like their routine and everything but I would say most are not,” junior Amelia Maroney said.

In almost every situation concerning COVID or other topics, a parent worries about their student, and often they will come forward with concerns. Once fall sports started, many felt unhappy with the decisions made regarding sports.

I get complaints a lot, from both sides of the fence. There are some who feel we shouldn’t be offering anything, some believe that we should not have sports because it hurts their child, who has been told by his parents they will not compete because of the virus. A majority just want their child to play and go back to how things were. They feel there should be no restrictions and trust that people will do the right thing to be safe,” Michael explained. 

Students and staff are reminiscing about when the sports season were regular and everything seemed normal, but obviously safety comes first. It is better to have an unusual season with guidelines and new rules than risk the health of both coaches and athletes.

 “I’d obviously like to see the teams competing with full schedules and all the sports going, but safety is of the utmost importance,” Michael said. With the season still occurring, at least athletes have the chance to somewhat feel normal in the midst of a global pandemic.