Practicing Together Through the Pandemic

Practicing+Together+Through+the+Pandemic

Isabella Talavera

By Isabella Talavera

Copy Editor 

Due to COVID-19, school sports teams are heavily limited in their ability to meet and practice together. There have been no games or tournaments this year, most noticeably Millikan’s annual homecoming football game. Masks and six feet social distancing are mandatory for the teams that actively meet and practice together in person

“I play soccer and my experience with practice during COVID is much different than the past,” says QUEST sophomore Vincent Leigh’ “For example, we can only do passing drills with one other person, we aren’t allowed to touch the balls, and we can only do conditioning.”

According to Millikan athletes, it’s harder to bond with other teammates, especially if you’re new to the team. Drills are more basic and individual rather than team-based like previous teambuilding and contact drills, especially in football. Some teams, like tennis and softball, have to bring their own equipment (like balls and gloves) from home, and in sports that engage in a lot of contact, equipment has to be sanitized after  one or two people have touched them. Temperatures are checked everyday, sanitizer is distributed frequently, and players are told to stay home if they feel sick. Some students don’t attend practice due to having high-risk people at home with them but participate online on Zoom.

“During summer practice [in] cross country, it was a lot different because we didn’t have the school and parents on our butt about wearing a mask while running,” adds PEACE freshman Michael Brief, “In reality, wearing masks while you run is very hard, especially if you are doing a six to seven mile run.”

Certain sports are allowed to practice, such as cross country and soccer, because they’re able to social distance. Other sports like wrestling, which is a contact sport, have cancelled their practices. If practices aren’t held together, players practice alone at home or on Zoom.

“We are still holding workouts online,” PEACE teacher and boys’ and girls’ tennis coach Torie Frapwell shares,  “We had planned to be back in person in December, but since the COVID numbers have continued to grow, I have decided to wait until things improve.”

Just like normal classes, sports teams are under the grip of the pandemic. Depending on the state of COVID cases, students will either continue this restricted practice or get to play once more as a team.