This is not the year that any of the student-athletes at Jamesville-DeWitt expected. Restrictions due to COVID-19 have left athletes with altered rules and postponed seasons. Soccer players will be playing matches with masks on, volleyball players won’t be playing until March, and fans won’t be able to go to games.
Some student-athletes feared that there wouldn’t be sports at all this year. “I was pretty upset,” said junior cross-country runner Ashton Corona. “I was thinking the season would get fully cancelled.” This possibility was especially worrying for seniors, who were potentially facing the cancellation of their final season. “Initially, I was taken aback and sad that there was a chance that I wouldn’t have a senior season that I’ve been thinking about since seventh grade,” said senior volleyball player Linda Shen.
Now that there are tentative plans for fall sports to take place, there is hope that sports seasons will at least happen, even if they won’t work like normal. That means that training for the start of the fall season, which is as late as March 1st for some sports, is already underway. “I always say you have to look at the positives in life,” said senior football player Marcus Payne, “so I’ll use the extra time to be even more prepared in March.”
Athletes from the other fall sports seem to have the same mindset as Payne: train as much as possible to be ready when the season starts. The football team has a Google Classroom where they can watch film on common opponents. Coach Rowles gives the cross-country team running plans to follow. Volleyball players have joined beach volleyball leagues to keep up with training. The list could go on. Regardless of which sport they play, athletes at J-D have found a way to stay positive and keep training.
Even though fall sports are starting later than usual, it’s better than no sports at all according to senior volleyball player Nolen Brann. “I’m sad that I don’t get to play yet, but glad that we have a better chance of having a full season at a later date.”
With all the uncertainty in the world right now, nobody knows exactly how high school sports will turn out. However, it seems like the Red Rams are attacking their unfortunate situation with thoughtfulness and positivity.