Fall sports continue despite covid delay

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Dallis Mullett, Editor/Staff Reporter

With the return of in-school and hybrid learning, many other school-related functions due to the Coronavirus are being starting to lift, one of them including fall sports. Students lost the advantage of being able to attend annual summer practice camps and had to train themselves with the resources from home. Now practices are back in session, and both players and coaches are falling into the rhythm of their routines.

But this did not come so easily. The staff members involved in the sports programs were left with many unanswered questions, and the whole of the season up in the air until a few days before the fall semester began. With the school taking precautions this year to create a more safe environment for their students, they had to make the same modifications to the games being held, and that proved itself to be quite the process.

And the clock was ticking.

“Lots of things were up in the air, but we have managed to sort through it all for now,” said Athletic Director, Dr. Danielle LaPointe. “I’ve learned how quickly things can change in just a few minutes.”

But before the games can begin, practices have to be held in order to revive the muscle memory in the players after being stuck training at home for so long.

Coaches and staff are carefully monitoring practices in order to keep every team member safe and healthy to participate in the upcoming season. For larger teams, this includes splitting off into groups of ten or smaller and focusing more on personal improvement, sharpening their playing skills and technique. Other safety measures are being taken before practice as well. Athletes must bring their own facial coverings, water bottles and are required to have a temperature check and fill out a check-in form before they enter the practice fields.

“It’s really weird to show up to practice thirty minutes early to do all the checks and stuff.” says Ethan Gause, a junior on the football team this year. “I’m just glad we can actually play this year.”

There are changes in seating arrangements at the games and matches for social distancing. Visitors and students can return to the home fields at 40% capacity and must distance in the stands. The student and marching band segments of the stands are modified to accommodate these new criteria and ensure everyone’s safety.

“We’re trying to make it enjoyable for everyone, but also make games a safe environment,” LaPointe said.

Now that the players and coaches have returned to their regular routines and everyone adjusts to the new normal, it is only a matter of time before the stands are back open and spectators can make their way in to enjoy the return of Manatee’s finest athletes.

The fall football season will continue but starting date is yet to be determined. To stay updated on Manatee football, stay connected through their social media, which can be found on their website.

Swimming, volleyball and other information on the upcoming season can be found by clicking here.