Fall Sports With a Pandemic

Talia Schiltz, Writer

Dowling Catholic High School students are anticipating a very different fall sports season this year due to COVID-19. Dowling Catholic is doing their best to keep their students healthy, by stating new rules and precautions everyone must follow to ensure healthy students, athletes, and coaches. 

 

All sports at Dowling Catholic require that masks are worn. Anna Flynn (12) believes that wearing a mask has made the volleyball team better, but the mask can be annoying and harder to breathe at times. 

“The mask can be annoying when I play and after super long rallies, I’m usually pretty out of breath but I wouldn’t say it really affects how I perform. Personally, I think playing with the masks has improved the team’s endurance and helps us last in long games and rallies,” Flynn said. 

 

For girls swimming, masks are required at all times unless they are physically in the pool, volleyball players have to wear their masks at all times, cross country is expected to wear their masks all the way leading up to the main run of the day, and the football boys are expected to always be wearing their face coverings. 

 

“You have to wear a mask when you are on the deck but once you are in the pool, you don’t have to wear one,” Mackenzie Sheridan (11) said. 

 

At Dowling, the student section is always a big part of games and events. This year, student sections aren’t allowed, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting the athletes as some might have thought it would.

 

“Playing with a limited crowd hasn’t felt that weird yet… we all play club volleyball, which doesn’t have a huge crowd either, so we are used to it,” Flynn said. 

 

Locker room policies are much different this season as only a certain amount of athletes are allowed in for a certain amount of time. Temperatures are also required to be taken before you enter the locker room as well as a virtual COVID-19 screening. 

 

“It used to be a lot louder, it used to be fun to get ready for practice, but now it’s straight to the point, get ready and get outside,” Maleah Greenslade (11) said. 

 

As one of the many new rules put in place, boys golfers are expected to transport themselves to games and be socially distanced from other teammates as they can not be close together anymore. 

 

“We have to transport ourselves to everything, and we are not really as close with our teammates,” Jackson Yurgae (11) said. 

 

It’s hard for athletes and coaches to predict how this season is going to go but most seem to think they will be finishing out their season. Crowds may start to get more and more limited but that doesn’t stop the determination of the players. 

 

During this time of uncertainty it is important for everyone to keep an open mind and truly enjoy every second they get playing their sport because no one knows what could happen. 

 

“Take every game like it’s our last because we don’t know when or if our season is going to get cancelled,” Blake Anderson (11) said.