High school sports tackling COVID-19

High school sports tackling COVID-19

Much like every other aspect of 2020, high school sports in Colorado have taken a massive hit because of COVID-19. Specifically, in Jefferson County, fall sports are not going to be played during their usual allotted time and are being pushed back either to the spring or a later date. It was not until a final push by the board of athletics on September 16th that most fall sports like football, cross country, and tennis were all brought back.

Although fall sports were back in action, it came with some drawbacks. Athletes needed to find ways to incorporate safe habits and social distancing into their sports while still trying to compete at their full potential. 

A-West football and basketball player Ethan Kerstiens is one of the thousands of high school athletes in Colorado trying to do what they love without putting their health and their teammate’s health at risk. Kerstiens is currently getting ready for his sophomore season this winter and has to take precautions in order to keep himself and everyone else as safe as possible.

“We have to wear masks while we practice,” Kerstiens responds. 

Masks have played a big role in high school sports in 2020. High schools all around the country, including A-West, are requiring athletes to wear masks during practice and competition. There have been mixed reactions from the athletes about this. 

Kerstiens says, “Wearing a mask is really tough to do when we are running around. They will tend to fall down and it makes it really hard to breathe when you are tired.” 

On the other end of this topic, sophomore Ethan Cook, who plays football at A-West, disagrees in saying that, “they aren’t affecting me ‘cause I can still breathe normally.” 

Masks are not the only way schools are trying to keep athletes safe.

“For practice before we enter we must get our temperatures taken to make sure we don’t have a fever,” Kerstiens says.

Due to the strictness of these rules and what is at risk, Jefferson County has kept a very close watch on athletes over these past few months to make sure that the new implications are being met.

If schools are caught in the act of not following the new guidelines, their team could get shut down and lose their season.

Sophomore Ethan Cook expressed very strong feelings when asked about what he thought about these rules and if he thought they were effective.

“I think there should be no rules and there should be nothing, it’s all silly. I’m just doing them cause I wanna play but don’t like them at all.”

Kerstiens voiced different opinions on this subject, however.

 “I think that these precautions are necessary and it is important for the continuation of play and for us to have our season in the winter. I think that these rules are helping to keep me and my teammates safe and I am very hopeful for a season to happen in the winter,” explains the sophomore. 

Even though it looks drastically different this year, high school sports are on as of right now in Jefferson County. Athletes are still learning to cope with the new ways they have to play and compete.