‘Let Them Play’ provides an outlet for frustrated athletes

Marisa Sandoval, Editor

Through months of uncertainty, student athletes from all different sports have waited to discover when and if they will play again. All sports have been delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Athletes were left with little information until September when they found out more details about the season . As they waited, students protested sports being pushed back and started the ‘Let Them Play’ movement. It provided an outlet for athletes to express their opinion to Governor Sisolak.  

“‘Let Them Play’ has brought us all together as athletes,” sophomore Carlos Gonzalez said. “No matter what school we go to or what sport we play, we are together because we all share the same idea. We all feel we should be out there playing, so we’ve all come together to support ‘Let Them Play’. It’s a little frustrating and it’s hard when you have a passion for something and have something that keeps you going, but you cannot play.” 

As students form a connection during a hard time, ‘Let Them Play’  has served as a judgment free space for athletes to express their thoughts about sports. 

“‘Let Them Play’ has united athletes by letting them use their voice and share their opinion on why we should be able to play sports on time,” sophomore Hayden Parga said. “While also exemplifying the importance of seniors and letting them play. ‘Let Them Play’ is creating relationships and ideas that are bright to the future of speaking out and especially during a pandemic.”

During unprecedented times sports provide a way for students to escape.

“Students definitely need an outlet,” Principal Kris Hackbusch said. “Whether it’s an activity or sport. I truly believe physical activity is paramount for a healthy mind, body and spirit. We need sports now more than ever. We must follow the safety measures everyday to flatten the curve so we can move forward with some of these events.” 

Many seniors have been struggling to find the positive after the delaying of their final high school season. But, for others, like senior Kylan Degreca, the restrictions have increased the mental grit of student athletes. 

“The time off has made me mentally prepare for anything that could happen,” Degreca said. “ I need to be ready for the season no matter when it begins. It has made me want to find a way to practice as much as possible, even though it’s been hard with the restrictions from COVID-19.” 

Athletes have learned that playing a sport is about more than winning a race or a game. Junior Ava Carlstrom kept herself motivated by the spirit of competition against herself and by the incredible feeling of doing something she is passionate about with others who love it. This is why running is good, as it not only provides a sense of personal achievement but also allows for the camaraderie of having teammates by her side to celebrate.

“Although competitions are very important and make the season way more fun and motivating,” Carlstrom said. “Just being able to do something that you are passionate about with others who love it is such an incredible feeling. I’m really excited to see how our team grows together and to also see how much we have improved since the last time we were able to run.”

Each athletic season has been allowed three week blocks train during the fall. The district is allowing eight days worth of practice so teams cannot meet everyday like they do in normal season. 

“It’s definitely weird to be practicing right now when our season won’t be until spring,”  Carlstrom said. “Right now is usually when our cross country season ends because of weather and I’m also trying to not get hurt or burnt out before spring. We definitely had to make adjustments to our practices to take that into account. It is very different from our usual 25-30 mile weeks.”

The first taste of athletic games is scheduled for Jan. 15 with winter sports. Each season will consist of six competitive weeks. All playoff tournament considerations are at the discretion of each individual region. The sports seasons will occur in the order of winter, fall then spring. All of this is subject to change due to the pandemic.