School Sports Stopping Soon?

New precautions are issued and winter sport athletes speculate about their final season.


Julia Cunningham

Juan Diego swimmers warm up before their Cedar City meet.

As sports start to resume after the two-week absence, athletes are concerned about the future of their sports. Many students thought that this break would extend like the one given in Spring, but the state has allowed sporting events to continue. Despite concerns, the state is attempting to make these events safe environments for athletes and coaches alike in an attempt to maintain some sort of normalcy.

Juan Diego recently established new COVID protocols, mainly state-mandated. Every other Wednesday, students participating in winter sports will receive rapid testing. In addition, athletes will have to quarantine in accordance with the state guidelines before participating in their designated sport. Thankfully, these guidelines are only for sports for now. “I want to emphasize that this Governor’s order does not affect the regular academic school day at JDCHS,”  Principal Galey Colosimo stated in an address to the school. “We will continue to observe our existing daily schedule as well as precautions with health screenings, symptom monitoring, masks, social distancing… In addition, we have asked everyone to be even more vigilant in social distancing, hand washing, and mask-wearing. These easy steps will help to keep everyone in our community safe,” Colosimo continued.

Senior swimmer Ethan Mckenzie enjoying his time at the Cedar City meet. (Julia Cunningham)

Winter sports are tricky because they are played indoors. They are seen as the least safe because of prolonged contact and being in close proximity to others, especially in sports such as wrestling and basketball where contact is an essential part of the game. “Honestly, I did not think I was going to have a senior season,” senior wrestler Matthew Mencia said. “I was worried about COVID for the season, but not for myself. I am mainly concerned for the coaches and refs because I feel like they are the most at risk,” Mencia continued. Mencia brings up an interesting point, as the coaches seem to be less considered than the athletes. The state also requires that they get tested like the team, so they must follow the same protocols that their athletes do.

Sophomore swimmer Emily Anderson prepares to launch off the block. (Julia Cunningham)

On the other hand, there are unique sports such as swim, which are still at risk but have a much different situation. “I feel like our sport has about the same risk as all the others, but I’m glad we are handling it the best we can, given that we can’t wear masks in the pool,” senior swimmer Ethan Mckenzie said. He had been preparing for the swim season and when the new restrictions hit, he was concerned but understanding. Despite the tests and protocol, many athletes still feel nervous; Mckenzie is no exception. “I was and still nervous for the season, especially after the first mandate from the governor,” Mckenzie stated. 

Despite these tough times, athletes are taking all the necessary precautions issued by the state and the school is making an attempt to help these students have sports, especially for the seniors who only have one season left. “I am still excited for my senior season and what it has to offer. I hope we can kick some butt, have some fun, and do the best we can with what we’ve been given.” Mckenzie finished.