Everyone knows about the treachery of Covid-19: the unbelievable pandemic that has swept the nation, leaving the world wondering when they will get a cure to this madness. Stores close earlier and some have even shut down entirely. There are masks everywhere one turns. Student athletes of Lindbergh High School wonder which way their fall sport will turn.
Many Lindbergh fall sports teams have been affected by the ups and downs of the pandemic, including whether or not they will be able to play. While the football team could not play games before, other teams such as softball and tennis were able to play games when St. Louis County Executive Sam Page informed high schools that their teams would not be able to attend games. Now, to play these games, student athletes must follow the respected guidelines, like wearing a mask and be socially distant from one another, and even have only two tickets per family at games.
“While in the dugout, we have to wear our masks, but when we’re on the field we try to stay 6 feet or more apart. Going to and from the field we have to wear masks. [It’s] a little difficult because when we get in the dugout sometimes we just want to drink our water and chill and be able to breathe but the masks kind of get in the way,” softball player C.J. Heathman (11) said.
Anisa Stavri (11), who plays on the tennis team, has some of the same guidelines. “[We have to be] wearing masks at all times when we aren’t playing and standing 6 feet apart from each other at courts, and it was easy (to do) because all we had to do was stay 6 feet apart and keep masks when not playing,” Stavri said.
On the football team, things run a bit differently. When playing a higher contact sport, it is difficult to follow the procedures needed to play.
“When we’re going to and from practice and weight lifting, as well as whenever we’re on the sideline for a game, we have to be wearing masks. And after working out in the weight room we clean the racks and bars thoroughly. It’s made it a little more difficult but not very much. All you really have to do is put your mask on and you should be fine,” football player Ben Stelken (11) said.
All the interviewees agreed that following the guidelines is essential as opposed to playing normally. “I’d rather respect the guidelines because it is more safe that way and you can still have fun while following them,” Stavri said.
Many players also agree that the restrictions and chaoticness of whatever way Covid-19 decides to pull fall sports makes them feel limited on knowledge.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not fond of the restrictions but I follow them because I want to play. I just wish they would’ve made up their mind sooner so we could’ve had more games before districts,” Heathman said.
Every player on each team respects the guidelines given to them so they are allowed to play. Even at games, the viewers are limited to two parents per family, and they have to be socially distant from others.
“I think following the guidelines matters more than playing with more fans because preventing the spread of COVID is more important than having a few people see you make a good play,” Stelken said.