Playing Sports Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic


provided by FHS Field Hockey Twitter

Players stand socially distant in masks before their game begins.

The Virginia High School League (VHSL) created new guidelines throughout this past year to allow for the 2020-2021 sports seasons. Despite new requirements, cancellations and rearrangement of sports season, FHS athletes enjoyed playing their sports. “What season we play in doesn’t really make that much of a difference to me. I’m just glad that we got the chance to play this year,” said sophomore Therese Hiesler.
Students found that wearing masks was only difficult when it became hard to breath. Social distancing was “definitely more of a challenge. Trying to social distance while playing and staying as safe as possible has limited our bonding and how we did things last season,” said sophomore Lauren Lasher.
For sports like cheerleading and football, having less family and friends present was “very weird since we are used to performing in front of our spectators and other schools and all of their supporters in the stands…This year we only performed in front of 25 people and the judges, so it was not as loud,” said sophomore Payton Roff.
During golf’s mid-season, two of the six top players were placed in quarantine from contact-tracing but wrestling had no COVID-19 issues. “If someone got [COVID-19], then we’d be out for two weeks, and the way some of us perform wouldn’t be as well coming off a break,” said junior Jacob Wirwik.
Recently, both the J.V. and varsity football teams as well as the boys lacrosse team were placed in quarantine after a positive case was recorded. “We were worried if anyone got COVID[-19] because the whole team would have to quarantine for two weeks and that’s a big fault for any team,” said Lasher. Many players are now in quarantine and missing their next season’s tryouts and practices.
The mixed up seasons were what athletes found most challenging. Many sports had less time to condition before tryouts and practices began. “It was a big challenge. We had only a couple of weeks of conditioning and then straight to our season. There just wasn’t enough time for us to prepare or improve,” said Lasher.
The cheer team was in a similar spot. “Everything was super fast paced. We had practice every day for three hours and worked really hard on our routine because we usually have months in advance to condition and work on building our skills,” said senior Jada Leggett.
This year, because not all schools were competing, some sports had less competition meets or games. “Usually our [golf] matches would have five or six different teams there. But with the three schools from Frederick County opting out, our matches turned into two or three team matches,” said sophomore Caden Mills.
Players tried to make the best of their seasons. “Take it all day by day, and don’t rush anything or dread going to practice because it really does go fast, and as soon as it’s over, you will want it right back,” said Roff.