How safe are sports?


Photo provided by: Audra Greuel

The student section cheers on the varsity football team on Thursday, Sept. 17. Face masks were encouraged in the stands, but social distancing was not enforced. The varsity football team suffered a narrow loss against Lake Mary High School and the final score was 15-14.

Grace Stoker, Sports Editor

On Aug. 31, following the approval of the Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA), the county announced that sports teams were officially allowed to practice for their upcoming games. According to the Center for Disease Control, almost 20,000 cases were confirmed last week in the sunshine state. These statistics are definitely troubling, considering how easily COVID-19 can spread.

As Sports Editor, I feel like I am supposed to be excited about the decision to allow Seminole County high school teams to compete against each other. However, I have some concerns. I fear that we will experience a spike in COVID-19 cases once after-school sports commence. Considering we already had a couple of confirmed cases on campus, my concerns are legitimate.

Football is the most concerning. With teams traveling from school to school, we bring the possibility of more COVID-19 cases right to our front door. It is not fair to other students to have some members in close contact with people from other schools, who may or may not be following social distancing guidelines. Especially on the field, where there is no way for opposing players to social distance from each other. The constant interaction between our own players is worrisome enough.

When this decision came from the FHSAA, certain safeguards were put in order. Football players are practicing in small groups. Coaches and athletic trainers on the sidelines are required to wear masks.

Precautions aside, close contact with multiple people is not safe. I would love to have the football season that we look forward to each year, I just do not think a safe season is possible. Putting fall sports on hold would have definitely been the best plan. The idea of moving fall sports to the regular spring season is not as radical as it seems. The beginning of the school year is busy enough as it is. 

If we chose to wait until spring, hopefully COVID-19 would have been under control by then. However, with fall sports starting now, there is no way that COVID-19 will be over during this school year. While I know that some athletes would have to balance different sports in the spring, I believe the resilience of students is what makes us so unique.

 Additionally, I believe there will be a steady rise in nationwide COVID-19 cases after the start of the season. However, fall sports are still on. I am glad the community is allowed to return to some sense of normalcy, but it is too soon.