Return to Play

Student-athletes talk about how COVID-19 has affected their return to sports.

Manny Al-Nsour, Web Editor

As many students begin to return to school, many feel as though they are left with unanswered questions. Recent changes, specifically in sports, have been a challenge to many students, but also a new learning curve for athletes to work around. Most sports have had changes made to them to help protect athletes as well as their families, health-wise, and allow them to continue to practice and compete amidst a global pandemic. Administration has been enforcing many safety precautions to ensure that athletes and their competitors are safe, and also able to enjoy their sports. 

“Every day before practice each student-athlete has to complete 5 symptom check questions,” athletic coordinator Shane Hynes said. ”Those symptom check questions include things like ‘have you had a fever, are you feeling well, have you had any close contact with covid.’ They also get temperature scanned; if their temperature is over 100.3 degrees for that day or if they say yes to any of those 5 symptom check questions they are sent home.” 

Not only have these precautions helped to keep athletes safe, but they also help players have peace of mind. Knowing that everything to keep them as safe as possible allows players to play comfortably as well as play to the best of their ability.

Senior Paige Anderson, one of Troy High’s top cross country runners, addresses how the changes have impacted her season this year.

“The biggest thing is that when you finish racing, you can’t hug your competitors or pat them on the back to show that you respect them,” Anderson said. 

Although, for many, the competition is the main focus, good sportsmanship and showing respect for their competitors can also play a major role in most athletes’ careers. 

 Losing a big part of a sport can be devastating for some, like Anderson, but for sophomore football player Adrian Janarthanan, the game is still the main focus. 

“We care for our teammates’ safety when we’re not playing,” Janarthanan said. “When we’re playing we worry about the sport.” 

For some, the COVID-19 virus has taken away their chance at playing sports, but for others, it is merely a thought in the back of their head, the main focus being the game.  

The question of whether or not athletes will have a winter season continues to linger, even as the fall sports season comes to an end. 

As COVID-19 continues to change everyday life, many athletes and their teams are finding new ways to continue to play, as well as stay safe, healthy and keep others safe. 

“[COVID-19] has affected us all but were still prepared to play and ready to take care of ourselves,” Janarthanan said.