COVID-19 Impact on NAHS Fall Sports

by Haley Strom

The impact the pandemic had on sports seasons has affected all fall sports differently. These changes have spread mixed emotions to North Attleboro athletes.

Emily Manning, a senior at North who runs cross country,  has expressed that she is “ready, happy, and excited,” to start her fall season. Emily said that certain guidelines have been put into place to ensure safety of everyone on the team. She said, “masks always need to be worn except when on a run, we must try to remain six feet apart, no spitting while on a run, and no running with other kids that weren’t assigned to your running group on the second day.” 

When asking her about the impact of COVID to her sports season, she stated, “I feel as though fall sports are being played and practiced to the best they possibly can. Coaches and administration have made it possible for the majority of sports to be played and the six feet apart and mask is what had to happen to everyone so it’s not like it’s unfair to us. The thing that really hit our season  is less meets being played, but that is because of the large groups and I understand that. I am just thankful our season is still able to be held.”

After talking with another student athlete at North, junior Sara Carter said that her sports season has been impacted a little differently. Unlike the cross country season, volleyball has been moved to the winter. 

When asking Sara about how she feels about her season being  impacted, she said, “I am upset that my fall sport has been impacted because I have been looking forward to it all year and it’s upsetting because I don’t have something to do during the fall.” 

She also told me that her season has been postponed to February and she is not sure that they can even have the season. In the meantime, the volleyball team is having captain’s practices. In order for these captains’ practices to be allowed, Sara said, “We have to wear masks and do our best to stay six feet away from each other.”

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, schools are doing their best to keep spirits high during the pandemic. The article stated, “The resiliency of players, coaches and leaders in high school activity programs the past seven months has been amazing. As attempts continue to offer all sports and performing arts this year, these individuals are making the most of tough times and demonstrating great resolve to change.” 

Although high schoolers did not want their last few sports seasons to be impacted by a pandemic, students have been able to keep their heads lifted high and they have found other ways to make the best out of their high school experience. 

A freshman athlete from the Watervliet football team has found a way to move around the challenges being thrown at him. Although he is part of the wrestling, basketball, and football team, he has chosen to run cross country.  

It has become evident that the school and state have put forth proper guidelines to ensure safety of the student athletes throughout the pandemic. Although some students’ seasons have been either taken from them or moved to a different season, students like Sara Carter are trying to stay positive. Although her volleyball season has been moved to the winter, she stated that she is “looking forward to meeting new people and getting back into shape.” 

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