Covid-19 causes winter sports cancellations


Photo credit: Bella Yoakam

North Athletes say goodbye, as their seasons get postponed for three weeks, and start to prepare for what is to come. “We will have to make quick strides when we return to be ready for what would likely be a shortened and possibly faster-paced season to get as many games in as possible,” assistant boys hockey coach Brent Maynard said.

By Joleigh Jackson, Bella Yoakam, and Drew Lovell

As a result of a rise in Covid-19 cases, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released new guidelines which state that all organized sports besides college and professional sports must be put on hold for at least three weeks to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Until the guidelines are lifted, high school sports will not be in session in person. 

Girls’ synchronized swim team captain Caroline Stafford says that before the order was sent out, the team was taking Covid-19 precautions by social distancing and wearing masks while doing their routines. If the restrictions are lifted, they will continue to follow Covid-19 guidelines in order to ensure everyone’s safety. 

Even though they are not meeting in person for practice, Stafford says that the team is still developing their synchronous swimming skills on their own. While in lockdown, they have been given exercises to perform at home in order to stay in shape for if the season continues.

“On Mondays, we do abs and workouts our coach sends us, we just have to do them at home,” Stafford said.

As they wait to return to their in-person sports, the girls’ synchronized swim team are not the only student athletes keeping in shape and staying conditioned in hopes that their seasons will start again. 

Emphasis has also been put on maintaining a sense of community amongst teams as social distancing has weakened bonds. Some teams are utilizing various ways in order to keep their athletes and coaches in contact.

Hockey assistant coach Brent Maynard says that besides exercising, the athletes have been participating in their own virtual meetings. Maynard said that they will continue to remain in contact through these meetings for the duration of the sports ban in order to keep an in-tune mindset. 

“Athletes should obviously be doing any form of physical conditioning they can to prepare, but we have done some Zoom chalk-talk sessions as well to keep the kids mentally thinking about the game and our game plan as well,” Maynard said.   “Hopefully this will help to smooth the transition back on the ice when we are able to get back on, and will allow us to get right back where we had left off with practices.”

Although teams are still preparing for their seasons while they are not practicing together, the long break period is still concerning many athletes. Many, like senior wrestler Logan Ladach, think that not everyone will stay motivated during their time off. 

“I think too many people on our team don’t have enough dedication to the sport to actually take these three weeks and use them to their advantage,” Ladach said. “Just over these three weeks I’m just gonna keep my conditioning up, just take jogs, workout a lot, just make sure I’m ready for it if it actually does happen.”