Photo submitted by Andy Rantilla
Covid has affected Stillwater wrestling teams championship contending season. The recent order from Governor Walz on November 21 to temporarily shut down due to the recent spike in covid cases, the team has had to react and adjust to the odd looking season.
The unprecedented year, 2020 has brought fear and uncertainty into the world. It is been a very difficult year as people are not able to do certain things like school, sports or hobbies people cherish and love. The Covid spike this fall has forced statewide shutdown, which has forced winter sports to be shortened and delayed. The delay has affected every student athlete who is involved in a winter sport, including wrestling who cannot train with no physical contact or lack of equipment.
Stillwater starts the season off as the #1 ranked team in the state according to The Guillotine.The wrestling team had a lot of success for the past couple of years. They have been section champs for 4 years in a row and were State runners up last year. The team is looking forward to a special season because they have great potential to win it all this year.
Jawahn Cockfield, a sophomore on the wrestling team said, “We could have won state this year, so hopefully it starts.”
The worldwide pandemic forces the wrestling season to start at an unconfirmed date in January. Coaches and players have to deal with many challenges, including finding ways to train and staying in contact with teammates, coaches, and parents.
“I see my teammates and coaches every once and a while. I have been lifting weights and going on runs every now and then, ”Cockfield said.
Minnesota schools are facing extremely high Covid case counts. Washington County has just over 15,000 cases. The MSHSL league continues to work toward providing all education-based activities in the safest manner possible. Many people are worried that the virus will spread more with winter sports and the holiday season.
When asked about safety concerns for the team, Antony Tuttle, a junior on the wrestling team said “Honestly I believe our safety is fine. If somebody feels sick, we can communicate and let people know to stay away from me.”
“I miss being on the mats, getting yelled at, pushing myself and my teammates. I miss the grind, my teammates and coaches, I miss everything about it.” Covid-19 has impacted high school students immeasurably. With online school, no sports, and a statewide shutdown, students are experiencing an extremely high level of stress. Wrestlers are still focused on the hopes of having a championship season.”I’m just focused on the grind in preparation for the season,” Cockfield added.
With everything happening in the world, the team still has one goal. This year has been one that everyone will remember, but students can now use that time to focus on the season, and succeed the goal of being the champion.
“I believe the wrestling team will have that one big goal in mind becoming the team state champion!” Cockfield said.