Article by: Hazel Marion
Amidst the pandemic, it’s been difficult to get sports activities going at Davie High School. Davie County’s football season has been pushed back to February, and we haven’t seen the typical Friday Night Lights this October or heard the fight song being played by the marching band. However, even with the sports seasons being pushed back, several teams have been training in the hopes of the 2020 2021 season.
What sports are actually practicing?
So far this year, football, girls’ and boys’ basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball, girls’ tennis, cheerleading, cross country, lacrosse, and golf have had some kind of practice or workouts through Davie High School. Drumline and Dancing Boots have also begun rehearsals. The marching band held a band camp before school started, but has not yet started practicing as a full ensemble. Boys’ tennis, wrestling, swimming, and soccer are not currently holding school-sponsored practices, but athletes on these teams have been practicing individually.
How has COVID-19 restricted the practices and workouts?
All teams maintain social distancing guidelines while practicing. Drumline, cheer, and Dancing Boots are required to keep masks on at all times. Since masks restrict breathing and are difficult to keep on while being physically active, other teams that are more physically demanding, such as cross country, football, basketball, and lacrosse are only required to wear masks off of the field.
Individual sports, like golf and cross country, simply stay socially distant or only practice a few days a week. Team sports have taken extra measures to ensure players stay healthy, such as practicing in smaller groups, only practicing a few days a week, and sanitizing playing balls. For baseball, softball, and tennis, social distancing has not been much of a challenge, since these sports already require players to be farther away from one another. Football, basketball, and volleyball, however, require teams to play close together in groups. These teams have been more significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, as they have only been allowed to practice in small groups and not run drills together as an entire team. The challenges of practicing these close-contact sports became evident when the girls’ basketball and volleyball teams had to quarantine for at least 14 days, due to COVID cases among players.
Has COVID-19 negatively impacted teams’ abilities to prepare for games?
According to a poll, 80.5% of athletes at Davie High School believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is preventing them and their team from successfully preparing for tournaments. However, some students believe there are some positives that have come from the pandemic restrictions. Junior Lillie Rollins, a swimmer, says, “I’ve had the opportunity to focus on my self-improvement rather than working with the whole team.” Several other students agreed that they have had more time to practice by themselves this year. Abagail Howerton, a senior on the golf team, says that she has had more time to “really get to know people.” Without the stress of games and competitions year, teams have had more time to relax and have fun. The cheerleading squad had a pumpkin painting competition for Halloween and the girls’ basketball team had a Halloween get-together.
The pandemic has further exemplified Davie High’s resiliency in accordance to change. Teams are consistently working hard to prepare for games and competitions. Restrictions from COVID-19 may be set in place, but athletes and coaches have found ways to work within the limits. There have even been some positive outcomes of the restrictions; teams have had more time to prepare for games. Regardless, the typical sports season has been missed. It can be agreed that all students, athletes, and non-athletes alike are looking forward to when sports can fully begin again.