Start of Sports

Start of Sports

Jimena Oliva ’22

Players on the varsity girls soccer team prepare for a game against a rival school.

One of the many staples of student life at Western Reserve Academy that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected is sporting events against other schools. The athletes went into the year not knowing whether they would even be allowed to compete. What purpose would their practices serve if there was not going to be anything to practice for? When Summit County entered the red zone, it seemed unlikely to many that they would risk increasing cases by playing competitive sports, and this writer wondered how students were even able to go to school. However, Summit residents evidently rallied and the color status miraculously dropped two levels. Yet, the day during which it would be officially decided if games were to be played kept getting pushed back much to the frustration of the many eager students.

Finally, the school came to a conclusion, and on Monday, September 21, WRA received the announcement that their first games would be occurring. The coaches explained the policies that needed to follow in order for these matches to continue, as well as the criteria the opponents had to meet in terms of what health measures their schools were taking. This writer did not believe that these games would persist. She supposed there would be no more anthems in the middle of the field, or “good game” handshakes post-play, but soccer is very much a contact sport. Although there may be attempts to prevent cases, you always hear about some student from so-and-so school who went to a party. From what this writer understands, it is harder for the virus to travel between hosts when they are outside and
only in contact for short spans of time. But there will undoubtedly still be feelings of apprehension among the players, and with good reason. Multiple students have expressed concern that guidelines will not be followed, and chose to abstain from sports.

Nonetheless, many delighted in the news of the permission to compete. As did Lily Schultz ’22, who was especially “glad the seniors are getting their senior season.” All sports, except for field hockey, whose athletes opted not to play games, are competing against other schools. The first event was a girls’ soccer game, and the number of students who came out to support them was high. Thus continues WRA’s sport program.

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