Athletes juggle school and sports complications

The cheer uniforms include mask this year, as a safety protocol.

Photographer: Ella Robnett

The cheer uniforms include mask this year, as a safety protocol.

Ella Robnett, Staff Reporter

Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the new hybrid learning model, athletics
have begun again. Since the start of practice, one prominent issue for sports teams has been
following social distancing rules. Student athletes must also maintain their grades. Practices
have been much different this year, and some teams have also had less athletes attending

Due to missing assignments, some athletes have not been able to go to practice. The in
person and online hybrid schedule is a new adjustment, and athletes have had to balance their
school and sports in different ways.

Freshman, Champ Notyce, prefers in person school days and he found at home days
challenging. His typical football practices have changed since the start of the pandemic.

“On online days it’s easier to fit in time for sports,” Notyce said. “But it has been
challenging to not procrastinate when I have work. Days when we’re at school is better in my
opinion, mostly to do with more organization than days at home. We haven’t had nearly the
same amount of practices, we have to wear masks, use hand sanitizer after touching the football, and social distance at the same time, which is very different from my past seasons

Football has not been the only sport that has had changes to practices. Freshman
cheerleader, Morgan Jay, Jay sees pros and cons to balancing schoolwork with sports with the
hybrid model.

“I’ve found that the hybrid model has made sports and school easier because I’m able to
have a more flexible schedule,” Jay said. “Covid has made practice difficult because we need to
wear masks during practice, the practice schedule isn’t consistent, we aren’t able to do some of
the things that we would normally be able to do, and Covid has made some teammates not be
able to attend practice.”

Cheer coach, Kristina Hamlin has had to make a lot of changes to usual cheer practice.
The COVID-19 precautionary rules have greatly impacted practices for cheerleaders, but they
are still optimistic.

“The biggest change is we have to separate each team,” Hamlin said,” Everyone is
wearing a mask and separated by 6 feet. We have not been able to practice very much at all
since tryouts, which makes it difficult to bond and form friendships. It is also tough for our
cheerleaders to wear masks when they are practicing. Participating in something like cheer or
any other team sport or club is very important to the mental health of students. Students are
suffering by not being able to do what they love! I hope and pray we can cheer for basketball
and football this spring! I am sure every coach and athlete feel the same!”

Student athletes have experienced benefits and losses due to the hybrid schedule.
COVID-19 precautions have changed a lot about athlete’s usual practices, but as of now practice
is canceled, and students can expect to have sports events, with some limitations in the spring.

Additionally, injuries sustained during sports activities can cause the bones of the foot to break or fracture. However, surgery for the foot helps stop more damage to the feet, successfully reduce chronic pain, and restore foot function.