QuaranTEAMed Sports

The 2020-2021 winter sports season is not off to a good start so far, as there have already been covid cases circulating through the winter sports. The sports in question include both boys wrestling and boys basketball, and the athletes of these sports have all undergone self-quarantining within their homes and have recently returned to school if attending face-to-face classes. The Blue and White was able to get an inside look at the perspectives of wrestler Cory Cardosa, basketball player John Latimer III, and the basketball coach, Coach Williams.

Coach Williams described the current safety precautions that the basketball team is undergoing, including mandatory masks at all times (except when actively playing or practicing), required social distancing, and quarantining. When asked if he believed an outbreak or case would occur within his sport, he voiced his reasoning about why he didn’t think they could complete the season without a case since “positive cases are escalating dangerously, we play a close contact sport, and we are not operating in a cohort (bubble) like football did.”

Safety procedures have been established in order to lower the risks of contracting the virus, it doesn’t mean that both athletes and coaches are immune to getting it. In fact, a player within basketball still tested positive even with the current safety precautions put in place. The remaining coaches and players had all undergone testing after the first positive test, and their results all came back as negative. John Latimer III, a player that had tested negative, had said he didn’t expect Covid to appear within his sport and resisted the idea until “I saw my teammate feeling really bad.” 

Although there was only a single case within basketball, the wrestling team didn’t have it so easy. Multiple wrestlers had contracted Covid, including senior Cory Cardosa and Coach Sassano. Cory says he is happy with the current safety precautions being put in place, even after getting Covid and showing symptoms, because of “how quickly they handled the situation, and how they reached out to each athlete to keep up to date.” Because wrestling is a very close contact sport, Coach Sassano stressed the importance of “personal hygiene, social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks”, as well as ensuring that the wrestling mats were cleaned after every practice. Sassano also voiced the significance of personal hygiene especially among all his wrestlers, like showers after every practice. Temperature checks were also done before every practice, with frequent testing, and all athletes were quarantined regardless of test results after the first positive came back, which had been effective in further spreading the virus within the team.

Although this isn’t the safest time for our athletes to play, they continue to do so regardless of the risks. They follow strict safety precautions, regarding mask usage, social distancing, and frequent temperature and testing. While these procedures cannot completely prevent any Covid outbreaks within the sports teams, it definitely is a positive step towards staying safe and healthy through our current situations.