Spring sports tryouts and seasons are underway with COVID-19 restrictions being the main concern. Unlike fall and winter sports, every team’s spring season will take place outside, which is seen as an advantage regarding COVID and it’s regulations.
Senior baseball player Chase Taylor said, “I feel anxious and excited because we didn’t get a spring season last year.” Taylor isn’t alone, as all spring sports had little to no season. Junior soccer player Greycen Erisman said “I am just honestly happy we are getting to play. All other sports were able to play so we are hoping the same for us.”
Along with track, tennis and boy’s golf, seniors Nate Lightfoot and Hogan Stoker, and juniors Haley Baldwin and Ethan Gray, are all wishing for a safe season.
Baseball and soccer are two sports that may see different COVID restrictions regarding masks; baseball players are more spread out and soccer players are closer with more contact.
Taylor said, “I believe we will be able to not have masks on because we are an outside sport and usually away from opposing players.” On the other hand, Erisman said, “I mean soccer is a contact sport so we will, during games, have to be in contact with other players. But at practice we are trying our best to keep everything somewhat at a distance.”
To prepare for their first real season back since 2019, spring sports have already kicked off their pre-season work in the gym and on the field. Gray said boy’s golf started going to the driving range every Wednesday back in Mid-December. According to Baldwin, track started their pre-season training already too.
“We have started our winter conditioning, and so far things are good. We all do good with wearing our masks, except for when we are running,” Baldwin said. “And for the days we lift weights, we are just more spaced out than normal. We must keep our masks on and once we are done we wipe everything down. The only thing that stinks is when lifting we must keep our masks on and it can be quite difficult sometimes.”
Erisman said the girl’s soccer team was following similar restrictions. “We just started preseason. We were able to start futsal in the gym with masks being worn and were able to condition outside on the track with all age groups split up,” Erisman said.
Even with the risk of COVID-19 ending their seasons early, all of the athletes said they wanted to go back to school. Baldwin said, “I will most likely go back to school simply because I, as a student, need that school habitat to thrive. I know there is a risk to being exposed but our team has all agreed that if we do not slightly feel good we will just be sent home for the next few days by our coach.”
Having seen how other coaches and teams have handled quarantining players and adjusting to restrictions, spring sports should be ready for a long season, according to Stoker.
Stoker said, “Because of the success with the fall and winter seasons, I think that spring sports will flow just as well. Exposures can’t be avoided completely, but it helps that the protocols are more advanced and effective than before.”
Looking to the future of the season, Baldwin offered words of encouragement to other athletes. “Even through all the restrictions from COVID, I am thankful we have the opportunity to race and our team continues to send positive vibes to every athlete at West,” Baldwin said.