Fall sports follow new protocols

Per MHSAA, fall sports must follow new protocols due to COVID-19

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Throwing the ball back onto the field, senior Brandon Hineman plays in the varsity soccer game.

Kendall Westgate, Editor-in-Chief

Quiet, half-empty stands, two fans per athlete, parents cheering on their kids, no more concession stands. Fall sports look different this year.

People will not experience the same atmosphere of typical sporting eventsa limited amount of spectators (if any) will not have the festivities that we normally are custom to, for example: homecoming,” athletic director John Bertich said.

Student athletes often see full student sections to cheer them on, but, that’s no longer the case.

“I don’t like it; I wish there were fans because it makes me play harder, it’s louder and way more exciting,” senior volleyball player Chloe Cole said. “Since it is my last year, I am happy to be playing and enjoying the moments I have with my team and also playing to my best ability.”

The school follows the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to compete in a fall season. Players are allowed two spectators at each game for both indoor and outdoor sports. Fans must also adhere to social distancing guidelines, as well as wear a mask, according to MHSAA.

Athletes in football, soccer and volleyball must wear a mask while playing, sitting on the sidelines and practicing. Those participating in cross country, golf and tennis aren’t required to wear a face covering while competing.

Before practice begins, temperature checks ensure players aren’t running fevers; they also work in smaller groups, called pods. These pods help limit exposure during practice.

“I’m glad that my coach is following the protocols during practices and meets strictly that way we can have a season still,” senior swimmer Taylor Byrne said. “It is different from my past seasons, but I’m happy to follow them because it means we can swim.”