By Staff Writer Cooper Smith
On Wednesday, October 7th, Washington Interscholastic Athletic association (WIAA) announced the revised plan for the “Return of Sports”. A much anticipated topic in most highschoolers homes, the return of sports could bring back joy to some students. This new plan allows for sports in all their covid modified glory to return in January.
For now though there is some solace that can be found in: teams like Football, Volleyball, Fastpitch, Cheer, Dance, Boys and Girls Basketball,Wrestling,Baseball, and Cross Country. Others will be allowed to take a limited form of practice, with athletes staying in a group of ten per one coach. Meaning groups may rotate as long as they are ten and under.
Of course this all comes with the asterisk that as long as the county keeps the cases low; and maintains that low rate. If any rate rises the limited practices will cease for two weeks, and would pick up again once the rates are managed again.
If the caseload and infection rate stay the same as now or even lessen more, then the practices will start up again in the beginning of November and will carry over until the end of December. Again these are limited only to a certain number of teams.
As we are learning about these new developments in sports one aspect that should not be forgotten is the coaches mind sets. English teacher and coach of baseball and football Beau Pocklington shares his core thoughts on returning;“The most important thing we can do it’s more important than school, it’s more important than sports, It’s more important than most anything is to keep our kids safe” said Pocklington. ”No good coach that cares about their kids would put their sport over their kids health and safety.”
A big question on athletes and families of athletes mind’s is how they are going to keep athletes healthy. Pocklignton shares what he knows about this topic “The biggest thing is to distance them as much as possible, whenever possible, increase cleaning, increase hand sanitizers, coaches wearing masks, limiting the number of kids were doing drills with, limiting the number of kids at practice, being outside as much as possible” said Pocklington. “Just following all the safety precautions given to us by the district, by the state government, and by the department of health.”
To get a better idea of how some student athletes are feeling about the return or delayment of the season. Ethan Hong,a cross country runner, as well as a track athlete weighs in. “I believe everyone wants sports back, and I sense that WIAA does too. They just want to be extra careful when bringing them back. Hopefully sports come back as soon as possible” said Hong.
In the meantime he is patiently hoping that there’s a chance athletes could return sooner, “I would prefer my sports to take place earlier rather than later. But at the same time, the safety of our people is more important. So I think our athletes should prepare for the worst while also hope for the best.”