Extended lockdown impacts winter sports

How the second shutdown, effective Nov. 18, froze winter sports

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To celebrate Thanksgiving, members from the dance team take part of a “teams-giving” held on Nov. 23. “I feel that this season has taught us to be grateful for every opportunity life hands us, to persevere at every obstacle and to not take advantage of any moment you are a part of,” junior Julia Lepore said. The coaches and captains put together bonding activities for the team to participate in.

Lauren Devereux, Staff Writer

Limited spectators, few person-to-person interactions and a multitude of masks becomes the new norm for high school sports and activities this year. 

“Sports will look different on the surface level; people will be wearing masks [and] less people in the crowds, if people are allowed to attend the competition,” athletic director John Bertich said. ”The rules of the game will remain the same and the main goal of [the] sports will remain the same too, which is learn and progress—hopefully win when doing that.”

Rules from fall sports remain almost the same with the school following the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to play in the season. Wearing a mask and social distancing among the rules, however, the rules are subject to change based on restrictions from the government and the MHSAA, according to Bertich.

“The lockdown has affected the athletes that were still involved and participating in Fall sports and there will be no transition from one season to the other if the MHSAA decided to continue fall sports when we return,’” Bertich said. “With the stop and go during these sports, it affects the team chemistry of any team. A player’s conditioning and drive could be affected because of the atmosphere the player is in.”

The second lockdown, which Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on Nov. 16, limited gatherings and put sports on hold starting Nov.18. The lockdown originally was supposed to last until Dec. 9, however, extended to Dec. 20 due to cases rising. 

“All sports can resume on Dec. 21st. If tryouts have been done, they resume normal practices. If they have not, the sport will have a one to three day tryout when practices can resume,” Bertich said. “The lockdown causes the loss of competition dates and the failure to resume the fall sports that were in the process of finishing. It will be up to the MHSAA to have a plan to complete the fall sports at another time.”

The dance team held virtual-workout meetings in place of practices; but, for most other teams, it was up to the athletes to get into shape for the season. 

“We are doing many virtual workouts as a team, as well as practicing our skills on our own at home to make sure we are holding each other accountable and still improving despite the circumstances,” junior dancer Julia Lepore said. 

Most of the athletes in wrestling, cheerleading, women’s basketball and men’s basketball, chose to work out at home on their own time. 

“I am staying active by doing workouts on my own and keeping up with my skills,” junior Genevieve Frechette said. “I am trying my best to stay positive and work through the hard times.”

Dance, cheerleading, women’s basketball and ice hockey started before the lockdown, however, competitions for all sports during December were cancelled. 

“We were supposed to start but the lockdown occurred the day before,” junior Thomas Gardini said. “I kind of have mixed feelings, like I love wrestling and all, but with the virus it would be bad for me because I am always with my grandparents.”

Due to the bowling team being an offsite team that is housed by a private business, it’s unknown if it’ll return, according to Bertich. 

“I’m going to really miss [bowling team], especially since it was a good form of socializing and exercise that pushed me out of my comfort zone,” junior Hannah Miracle. ”In my opinion, cancelling it was the right option because of how crowded our tournaments can get, but I’m really hoping it will be available next year.”