By: Lily Caravela
WEST CALDWELL-While the COVID-19 pandemic has left a detrimental effect on our community and resulted in mainly online learning, James Caldwell High School student-athletes are working hard to keep a positive attitude while staying safe and following new safety precautions.
Ever since communities have had to go into lockdown due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, officials could not determine if athletes would be able to participate in their fall sports. Shutdowns on March 13th dramatically halted all spring seasons leaving many student-athletes heartbroken. After a long spring with no activity, summer came around and practices resumed. In August, an outbreak of the coronavirus spurred, putting an intermission on all fall sports until September 14th. Athletes were again devastated with this news, and in fear that there might not be a season at all. Flashforward to today, our athletics teams are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be practicing and playing other schools.
Even though all of the respective seasons have successfully continued on, a few adjustments have been made in order for fall athletics to occur. Dan Romano, the high school’s Athletic Director, made a new list of safety requirements to follow. Some of the main rules listed are : Students are no longer allowed to use the locker rooms and must show up to practice dressed prepared. Masks are to be worn before and after practice, as well as on the sidelines of games. Athletes must bring their own water, and water coolers are no longer allowed to be universally used. Additionally, only 22 athletes are allowed on a bus instead of the usual 54. This list continues with more reminders and rules necessary.
The Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer, Football, Girls Tennis, Cross Country, Cheer, and Field Hockey teams have all been keeping an optimistic look to make social distancing maintainable.
Junior cross-country runner Spencer Day stated, “We run six feet apart, wear masks during our warmups and breaks, and we run with less kids at our meets. Instead of running against twelve teams, we only get to run against four.” Restrictions might have been put in place, but that has not stopped our sports teams from proceeding.
Some of the sports teams have even gotten creative with abiding to social distancing requirements. The Girls Soccer team has purchased buckets this season to maintain 6-feet apart along the sidelines. The buckets are multifunctional, as they are used as a seat on the sideline and a place to hold extra items. The girls even spent time personalizing and decorating their own buckets as they pleased.
Although this is a very unfortunate time, our sports teams’ have truly been able to work their hardest to be safe and get as much time on the field as possible