Ever since our school reopened in August, the question of sports has constantly been on everyone’s minds. It was a question that spread throughout the city almost as fast as the coronavirus, and everyone had a different answer on how to keep people safe.
St. Dominic Sports
There’s been a lot of changes revolving around the St. Dominic sports community alone. We fortunately are able to participate in every sport, but it’s been a difficult road. In late August, field hockey’s season got postponed all the way until October, but now they are back and better than ever.
For the sports that have been able to play since the get-go, obvious changes have been made. Cross country, for example, has strict restrictions on those who are able to attend; it’s often only parents. Runners are also required to wear masks during warm-ups.
“(The meets) feel very different, because there’s a lack of support,” junior Maureen Smith said.
The new changes to football have greatly affected our entire school. As spectators, masks and social distancing are required. We are required to stand on the big blue X’s in the stands, just to make sure we keep our distance.
Our sports aren’t just dependent on our administration guidelines, but whether or not other schools can or can’t play. For example, just this past week, our varsity football team was scheduled to play John Burroughs, but they had to cancel. Fortunately, we could play Vianney instead.
“We are just happy to be playing football, doing it safely and doing everything we can responsibly so these players can have a great season together,” varsity football coach, Coach Blake Markway, said.
Because of the changes, the team has played Farmington, Fox and Vianney, who we’ve never played in the past. It can be a lot, but we’re so lucky to be able to be under those Friday night lights when so many other schools don’t have that opportunity.
St. Charles Sports
St. Charles county doesn’t have any official restrictions against sports, but several schools have taken matters into their own hands. Schools such as Francis Howell Central and Lutheran St. Charles suspended their football and volleyball in late September. Central had a couple players exposed to COVID, and Lutheran actually had two positive students.
St. Louis Sports
In August, St. Louis county executive Sam Page cancelled all youth sports in St. Louis County. This obviously sparked protest throughout St. Louis, so this ban didn’t last too long. He eased restrictions on some low-contact sports, but kept strict guidelines. People were still unhappy, and according to KSDK, many school districts are scheduling and playing games outside of St. Louis. St. Louis schools have often come out to our own county, since St. Charles county doesn’t have any official restrictions.
“We believe that the activities that we have limited in our public health orders are important and not following these restrictions and guidelines do endanger these students, whether they play in St. Louis county or somewhere else,” Page said.
Despite warnings, Page finally relented, because this week he allowed high-contact sports such as hockey and football to return. Many schools, in specific Kirkwood High School, have been playing as many as four games a week. They’re doing their best to fit as many games in as they can before their post-game season, in order to make up for lost time.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed so much of our lives, and sports were no exception. However, if we follow CDC guidelines, we can keep each other and our players safe while still having a fall season.