A season like no other


What do softball, boys golf, boys tennis, and cross country all have in common? They were the only fall sports allowed to play in the regular 2020 fall season by CHSAA, causing other sports such as boys soccer and girls volleyball to move into a different season. While the other sports teams wait patiently for their sports to resume, the current fall sports must follow many protocols set by CHSAA that make this season different from any other.

Checking temperature before games, wearing masks, and sanitizing all equipment before and after practices are just a few of the things that defy the norms of a normal fall sport. Head boys tennis coach Samual Kurucz said, “We are just following the guidelines given to us such as cleaning all rackets after practice and switching out tennis balls more often than we normally would.” In order to play, these guidelines must be followed. “The players understand what’s at stake and at this point wearing a mask has become a habit for most of us,” Kurucz added.

All of the protocols put in place are just part of the changes with COVID. The main impact comes with the shortening of seasons, roster sizes, and state finalists. Head cross country coach Dominic Douglass said, “The season went from ten to eleven weeks to seven weeks this year.” Those four weeks don’t seem like a lot, but for the runners it can mean every race means more as far as qualifying for state. “There are five regions, and normally the top four teams in each region and any individual that is in the top 15, not a part of a program in the top four, qualify for state. This year it’s down to three teams and only two individuals per region.” This is the biggest impact of COVID-19 as now runners that are on the bubble of state have less of a chance to make state and run for a chance at the title.

Sophomore Whitney Priesser takes her lead off of 2nd hoping to score on a base hit.
Photo courtesy of John Priesser

Varsity runner, Matthew Lobojko, said, “It’s a lot harder to run cross country this year. I hate the masks and the social distancing and I don’t like how the season is shorter with very small meets.”

However, the fact these sports are able to participate in a fall season is much better than the outcome of some other sports. Cristal Rivera, senior softball player, said, “The coaches did all that they could to give us a season and we are able to play the sports we love while also keeping it as competitive as possible.” Masks in the dugouts and no high fives or touching after big hits are a couple more things changed with COVID-19. Varsity softball coach Debora Kortbawi said, “It’s hard as a team sport because we rely on the camaraderie of the team. It’s a struggle for the girls but we get to play and we do what we have to do in order to play.”

The players seem to understand the circumstances and have kept the positive mindset throughout this whole process. Kurucz said, “We all want a successful season, without interruptions or quarantines, and their behaviors have reflected that.”

By Nathan Kuhta, Social Media Editor