COVID-19 challenges high school sports seasons

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA), has released the new high school sports schedule for the 2020/2021 school year that has a lot of the student body of Bellarmine Prep with many different opinions.

The schedule rearrangement has disrupted the anticipated plan of high school sports coinciding with the start of school.  Coaches and students alike are expressing sadness over the loss of fall football, with no real guarantee that the anticipated February football season will actually happen. In fact all fall, contact sports have been moved to the spring, leaving cross-country, golf, tennis, and other non-contact sports in for the fall.

As for the rest of the school year, the WIAA’s plan is to have four seasons instead of three. It is unclear how the world and the pandemic will play out.  Will we have relief in the form of a vaccine for the dreaded COVID -19 virus or will we continue to mask and social distance making any kind of contact sport impossible for the foreseeable future?

Students at Bellarmine were willing to share their opinions on the topic. Junior football player Max Walker said, “ I think it is so ridiculous to think that we can have protests and rallies of over 1000 people jammed on to each other but we can’t play football.”

Football games are main school events that allow the community to be brought together and students to have positive interactions with one another.

Students have expressed their disappointment in the schedule rearrangement. Freshman Andrew Johnson said, “ It’s really disappointing since sports is something I really enjoy and the thing I was looking forward to the most.”

For incoming students they may not get to experience sporting events for the first time. As for rising seniors they may never get to experience participating and spectating during their time in high school.

Senior Delaney Retko, who has participated in Bellarmine athletics for her last three years said, “It’s upsetting that we might not get any sports seasons because these last three years so many people have worked very hard and put a lot of effort and time into these teams. I understand why they are moving the seasons around but it is very frustrating not knowing what is going to happen.”

It is unclear how the 20-21 school year and sport schedule will play out in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing is for certain, students want to participate in sports as soon as they are able.