Fall Sports During a Pandemic

Claire Prater, Staff Writer

It’s hot, you feel cramped within the tight quarters of the bleachers. The lights are bright, and you can hear loud chants everywhere around you as the Bruins dive into the endzone for yet another touchdown. 


It’s a Friday night, you’re right in the middle of the student section at the Bruins’ Home field. You look around to see everyone smiling with their friends as you enjoy yourself with your peers. 


But in the fall of 2020, the student section could be just a distant memory in the minds of students at CHHS.


Due to COVID-19, regulations for sporting events have been set by Lincoln Trail Health Department and Hardin County Schools. Students, coaches, and officials are adjusting to the changes. 


Looking at the KHSAA website you quickly access the new rules being implemented this season for cross-country, golf, soccer, football, and volleyball. 


Temperatures of athletes, coaches, and spectators are to be checked before every event and players are to record their temperature and report if they have any symptoms to a google form before every event. 


Masks are to be worn at all times by all present until athletes begin warm up or physical activity.


Social distancing is to be maintained by all watching the games as well as on the bench, the locker room, and while gathering information from the coach. 


These are just a few of the procedures that are being implemented this year. 


Ticket sales seem to be the most in-the-dark thing with sports this year. 


Spectators cannot just walk up to purchase a ticket like they usually would. Each player is given a certain amount of tickets, based upon the capacity level of the stadium, and the tickets must be paid for in advance with the name of the specific spectator attached. 


This unfortunately means no student section here at CHHS.


However, Athletic Director JC Wright  offered some hope to student sports fans. 


“No rules are set in stone,” he said. “The word is ‘fluid.’ Everything could change and we are prepared for it too. We hope to eventually sell limited student tickets.” 


Wright also explained how figuring out the season went this year.


“It was stressful” he admitted, “but we are lucky to have such amazing coaches here at Central who enforce the rules and help us figure things out.”


Obviously this season has put stress on all of our coaches and staff but, what about the players? Senior soccer players Rylie Martin and Haley Pickerell gave some insight on what it’s like this year as a student athlete. 


“It’s honestly depressing without as many fans/ a student section. I miss it a lot because seeing my friends or people I know in the stands gets me so excited and hype to play,” Martin said. “It’s honestly frustrating this season, but I’m trying to stay positive and grateful that we’re playing in the first place.” 


“Practices are very different,” Pickerell noted. “We are in separated groups, and our coach has to spend bits of time with each group. Sometimes it feels like we aren’t getting everything done that we could in a normal practice.”


Martin and Pickerell also pointed out that the length of the season has been altered. 


“My senior season will be the shortest season I’ve ever played even if you factor in the postseason,” Pickerell mentioned. 


The two also talked about how the new rules make it hard on the team as a whole. 


“I feel like it does put a strain on the team but only during practices. In games, we are lucky enough for things to still flow pretty smoothly,” Martin said.


“Rules do make it hard on the team because we are so frustrated with wearing a mask everywhere we go. Forming a bond is harder but we are making the most of it,” Pickerell shared.