Sports and COVID: Do they mix?

Student Athletes thoughts unmasked


Ms. Adina

The Barlow gym stands empty but sparkling clean.

Ashley Miller, Junior Staff Writer

The question we have all been asking is “will the Barlow Bruins get the season that they have all been waiting for?” On February 8th, all fall sports officially started, meaning this was the first time student athletes were able to get on the court/field in over a year. Since the summer of 2020, it’s been up in the air on when our season is going to start and if we are going to even have the season we were all wishing for. 

“Never take things for granted, because you will never know when it can be taken from you,” freshman Dylan Howell states talking about his football season that was almost taken from him. It has been over a year since he has played on the field, in a normal game with fans in the stand and a time where having the “home field advantage” actually meant something. Social distance huddles and “foot five” just doesn’t feel the same. “Masks make it so much harder to breathe and drain our energy so much faster than normal,” freshman Amiyah Eason claims, talking about this season’s biggest struggle. On the bright side, COVID has taught all student athletes to adapt to the struggles, keep pushing even when times are at its worst, and has given athletes more time to reflect on themselves. The 2021 ‘fall’ season is a little more than halfway over, with the season being cut four weeks shorter than normal because there are  no state competitions or playoffs. “One thing that keeps me positive through this season is knowing that all my teammates are going through the same thing that I am, and in times like this, we all just need to be there for each other.” Eason has been playing volleyball and reaching her goals in the sport since she was young. Making varsity her freshman year and starting in her first high school game, she had hoped that the season was going to be the normal season she has always dreamed about.

Many things have changed this season due to the COVID restrictions that were put into place by OSAA and our Governor. Some of these restrictions include keeping a six-foot distance when off the court/field which mean the chairs are also six feet from each other, having to wear a mask at all times, having to sanitize between games, having very limited fans, getting temperature checks before entering the gym daily, the only way the athletes parents can cheer them on and watch them is now only available through a screen, having to distance our huddles and no more high fives, instead they encourage elbow bumps and foot fives. The Barlow Bruins have followed all of these rules. With COVID cases dropping very quickly, hopefully our 2022 sports seasons will look a little more normal than this season. Eason says, “I hope next season is back to normal, so I can finally experience the high school season I’ve always dreamed of.” Looks like only time will tell what the future of high school sports will look like.