Fall sports postponed

     VHSL has announced there will be no fall sports this semester.  They have also pushed back the other seasons. Most students, coaches, and teachers are still confident we will have sports this year, but some are less than confident in our ability to host events.  Now with all off season conditioning officially postponed the year could change completely.

     The new  practice start dates are as follows:  competition cheer, sideline cheer, and football practices start February 4.  Volleyball, golf, and cross country practices start February 15.  Basketball practices start December 7.  Swim and wrestling practices start December14.  Baseball, softball, soccer, track, and tennis practices all start April 12.

     ”It’s going to look a lot different this year,” coach Matthew Dixon, athletic director, said. He also said that we will be taking extra precautions including social-distancing and mask wearing this year.  Social – distancing also affects attendance “The Governor has instituted a 250 person maximum capacity.”  He also said, “Tickets will probably be limited to immediate household members.” 

     Most teams were conducting out of season practices before we were told to stop all out of season conditioning due to the recent outbreak in our area.  The new assistant cheer coach Leah Plott is hopeful for her first coaching season.

     “We are having to take more precautions whenever it comes to playing sports and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” Plott said. 

     Some students are excited to see how e-sports will fare in the current pandemic.  It’s off to a good start with them recently winning their scrimmage against Richlands!

     “I’m excited to see what’s going to happen with e-sports, and they might take over real sports,” Derek Cruise (11) said. He even said he’s excited to see how the coaches and athletes will adapt.

     There are many obstacles our student-athletes will have to face this year including mask wearing, no contact, and limited spectators to cheer them on.  It also will be harder to travel this year due to concerns of coming in contact with an infected player, or coach from another school.

     ”I think we will have sports this year. I think they will be very different from what we’re used to,” Kara Benson (10) said. She believes it will all be normal other than attendance.  Benson, much like her sister, is a multisport athlete.  Last year she was a part of the JV volleyball team, and she also participated on the swim and track teams.

     Other student-athletes have taken a different approach as to how they believe coaches and athletes will adapt.

     ”Our coaches and athletes know better than anyone else how hard it is to be successful, and I don’t think they’re going to let this virus or anything else stop them from succeeding this season,” Emma Donchetz (11) said.  Donchetz is also an athlete, playing volleyball, swimming, and having been on the track team last year.  In a follow up she said, “I think Graham has some very loyal, and devoted fans, not just the parents.”  She also said that while social distancing will make it harder, she believes the fans will find a way to support our athletes.

     Covid-19 is just another opponent that Graham High School athletes will beat in this year’s competitions.