POV: Sports During Covid

More stories from Katie Eckert

Asher Popcorn Factory
March 30, 2022

One of the bigger casualties for the school when the covid-19 pandemic hit was sports. The question of how to modify sports practices and events to be covid-friendly is still an ongoing issue, and some are still unsure whether sports should be happening at all.

Most local schools started practices for fall sports before they even opened in-person schooling, and as long as players stay healthy, that will continue as planned. Whether this is a good idea or not, most Seabury students are on board. 

Seventh grader Kavon Price thinks sports are particularly beneficial: “They’re fun, and I’d have nothing to do if they weren’t [allowed].”

Sophomore Elizabeth Allen also thinks starting sports was the right decision. “You’re not harming the people who don’t do sports,” she says, “So it’s kind of like crowd control.”

Senior Harrison Hartzler agrees, saying, “Continuing athletic programs is even less of a risk during online school, because each sport is contained and not interacting with each other.”

However, sixth grader Gillian Asher feels that the state of the pandemic should be taken into account. If things get any worse, she “would probably stay home and not do the sport.”

People seem to feel the same way about sports as they do plays. “It is crucial for people to have the opportunity to express themselves,” says Hartzler. Fortunately, auditions for the upper school zoom play are coming up, so it seems actors will also have their chance to shine.

Allen also thinks that plays should run if sports are: “I feel like plays would be okay, since you know you can avoid close contact with people.”

One of the main reasons students have been allowed to play sports this season is because of the modifications that have been made to increase safety, such as symptom screening, wearing masks and social distancing during practices. Still, not everybody agrees that coaches and players are doing enough. “I think wearing a mask is good, but I feel like they should probably do a bit more,” says Allen. Asher also agreed with her on this point.

On the other hand, Price and Hartzler feel that the precautions are good enough. “Seabury has been doing a fantastic job,” says Hartzler. “Sports teams know that these modifications are what’s keeping their season alive.”

 “We’re safer than we would have been if we didn’t do anything,” says Price.

With all of the stress arising from threat of cancellation, catching COVID-19 and the normal stress that comes with balancing school and extracurriculars, the bottom line is this: is it really worth it?

For Price, the answer is easy. “I think having to quit eventually is better than not doing [sports] at all,” he says.

Hartzler agrees, and, as a senior, is particularly hopeful for this final season: “The possibility that I could never step on the field again wearing a Seabury uniform terrifies me.”

Allen is still cautious of what the future may hold: “I’m not too sure if it’s safe or not, but so far it’s been okay.” In her view, everything depends on the individual player’s situation: “If you’re trying to look for a scholarship, like if you’re a senior and stuff, I’d think that it’s probably worth the risk to get into college,” she says.

Asher agrees, saying, “If you’re really dedicated . . . you should go ahead and do it.”

The state of things seems to change daily, and none can predict whether Seabury sports will continue to run as planned. No matter how you feel about the matter, do your best to keep yourself and others safe, whether by wearing a mask while you workout or supporting your friends from a distance.