Sports have always been a big part of the Oakdale community, but with the pandemic, such events have been brought to a halt in order to keep students safe. It had taken a while for sports to transition back into the lives of many high school students due to Covid-19. With the beginning of online school due to the ongoing pandemic.
Due to safety precautions, all the sports are currently limited to practice only, along with guidelines. According to the CDC guidelines for playing sports are, all players should wear a mask if and when possible during practices, limit physical closeness by maintaining 6 feet, and clean hands before and after practices with hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol or just washing your hands. Certain sports, such as lacrosse, are contact sports, contact sports have been limited even further in what can be done during practice.
Johann Myles, a sophomore lacrosse player at Oakdale High School, shared his view of the effect the pandemic has had on Oakdale sports: “Covid 19 has made it so I’m not able to play games in the sports that I love.”
He also stated the effect social distancing has had on his sport: “This year we have to stay apart and have no contact compared to last year.”
Myles also shares insight on how lacrosse will be returning to play, stating, “Social distancing has been applied in pods. The team is sectioned into groups of 15 and you remain with that 15 people the whole time.” This shows us that during most contact sports, there is a large limitation in how practices are performed and done.
Though all sports players are disappointed due to the fact nobody will be able to compete this year, return to play has different impacts on non contact sports like tennis. Matthew Lopez Duke, a junior tennis player at Oakdale High School, replied, “COVID-19 generally had a minimal effect on tennis because tennis is naturally a solitary sport and doesn’t have much close interaction…This year is just weird because we still have to make sure to stay 6 feet apart and we also are not playing other schools because this is just conditioning.”
The letdown has also affected the coaches who love the sports as much as the students. Coach Remsburg, the girls track coach shares, “Sports are a lot different this year versus last year because there are no competitions right now. We are not training for competitions, we are training to stay in shape and to have fun doing it! We definitely have to progress a lot slower into our routine since some athletes have not been able to run in 8 months and we do not want injuries.” It’s refreshing to know athletes are having fun practicing.
The similarities that athletes and coaches face is that meets, games, tournaments..etc… are not allowed during this time because of the risk of contracting the Coronavirus but this risk affects all of Oakdale’s sports differently.
Though as shown each sport is affected differently it has changed the way all these sports are played and practiced. In turn, everyone is hoping to potentially go back to the way sports were in a new normal in our second semester.