Athletic practices change due to COVID-19

Bulldog athletes make adjustments according to IHSAA regulations


Samantha Haub, Reporter

Student athletes are experiencing many changes in their fall seasons, not just in the classroom. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), staying physically active has some major health benefits.

Physical activity reduces blood pressure and anxiety and helps you sleep better,” according to the CDC.  “It can also help to improve mood and energy level.” 

Senior soccer player Grace Barber explains the changes in the sport.

“We had to social distance during water breaks and that was something I’ve never experienced before,” Barber said.

Due to social distancing on the sidelines, Barber says that it is harder to look like a team.

“At the end of practice, we aren’t allowed to huddle in and touch hands for our cheer to break down for the day,” Barber said. 

Barber explains the regulations on the masks, along with the difficulty they bring.

“We, as a team, have to wear our masks on the bus traveling to games,” Barber said. “Sometimes there isn’t any air conditioning! Once you came out of the game, [we were] told to put a mask on and it was hard after running for so long to have your breathing restricted.”

Adjusting in tennis has been difficult for junior Isaac Minton.

“We have to constantly watch where we are on the court in order to avoid contact with each other,” Minton said. “We have to be mindful of how many tennis balls are out [were] touched, so we can ensure little cross contamination.”

For Minton, social distancing can be a challenge.

 “Everyone is standing apart unlike a team should look [like], and all of our speeches and talks are spread out on the courts,” Minton said. 

Being six feet apart on the sideline can be difficult, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not manageable.

“Games so far are different because we can no longer shake the opponent’s hand or get together with our partners,” Minton said.  “Instead, [we] have to touch each other’s racquets together- which is just as good.”

Athletic director BJ McAlister explains the challenges he faces.

“Communicating COVID protocol/procedures to all parties [along with] setting up facilities for COVID restrictions [is challenging],” McAlister said. 

He says having parents and student athletes understand the procedure makes his job easier.

“[It] seems like everyone understands this is what we have to do [in order] to have extra curricular activities,” McAlister said.

According to the IHSAA the procedures will be in place until there is a vaccine available.