Athletes face a new reality this fall

Mike Hamilton '21, Web Editor

As fall sports return both athletes and coaches have to grapple with new safety guidelines.

After the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) reinstated all fall sports, there were many unknowns that still needed to be answered. Ultimately new guidelines were set to ensure the protection of athletes and their families while providing students with opportunities to participate in the sports they love.

“We have to wear masks from the minute we leave our cars in the parking lot,” Kate Skupien ’21 said. “My coach keeps a pretty tight watch on us so we stay safe.”

According to Skupien, two players are rarely next to each other for an extended period of time while playing, and during the game wearing a mask seems unnecessary.

“It is important that we all try to avoid a large breakout but many times during the game I see other girls pulling their masks below their nose,” said Skupien. ”I have definitely seen some teams that don’t care about safety and are wearing it just to technically follow the rules which is concerning.”

Boys’ tennis coach John Willard says the guidelines require masks wearing at all times with the exceptions of competitions and stretching.

“I think the guideline has taught the boys to be concerned about the situation that’s out there with Covid-19,” Willard said. “Basically from the minute they step out of their cars they keep their masks on.”

The whole high school tennis community is very receptive to the rules, everyone who is watching has their masks on. Even parents are doing it without complaint according to Willard.

“I am a firm believer that we should do everything in our power to stay safe right now and that includes wearing a mask,” said Willard. “I think we need to leave it up to the health experts in terms of what’s best for our student-athletes, I know its not everyone’s first choice but it’s doable.”

Masks are a pain but people should still wear them according to Sutton Wright. Wright said. the mask is only tedious during games.

“Our coaches have done a great job enforcing the rules,” Wright said. “They won’t let us come onto the field without having a mask on which is a good policy in my opinion.”

According to Wright, he trusts the decisions being made by the health officials and thinks they should be followed.

“Even though these are difficult times for everyone there is really one simple rule which isn’t even that hard to follow,” Wright said. “All you need to do is put and keep your mask on.”