The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on everyone’s lives. Schools, business, workplaces and many other places for social engagement were forced to close down. To safeguard the health of athletes and others involved, most sporting events have been cancelled or postponed. The Northwest School also had to postpone sports for the safety of the students. Now that the vaccine is being spread throughout the state, more and more places are opening up.
The league is doing its best to keep students safe throughout these hard times while also allowing students to have fun and get outside. The league has put a strict protocol in place to ensure the safety of student athletes in our schools. There are check-in sheets for the gym and there are temperature checks along with hand washing stations and hand sanitizer around the buildings. There’s very strict social distancing and wearing a mask is mandatory. The cleaning staff has also taken it up a notch in their sanitizing procedures to really make the spread of COVID-19 be as limited as possible. With sports being back, Britt Atack, the Northwest athletics director, has seen students playing, and he can’t help but feel happy. “It’s almost like normal… ya know?” Britt loves that students come to school and play their favorite sports with their best friends. It’s been great for new students and new freshmen to meet their classmates and to begin making friends after months of classes on zoom.
Season 1 at Northwest is already coming to an end with the season ending on April 3rd after starting back on February 15th. Season 2 is taking place from March 29th to May 15th. The final season will go from May 10th to June 26th. There is a one week overlap in the sports seasons. This is because the last week of the season is generally the final championship or game, and the first week of the other season is just practices, so the overlap doesn’t have that big of an impact on the athletes’ season.
Along with team sports, fit club or strength and conditioning is still happening over zoom. If you cannot make the meeting there are also recordings of the workouts if you want to do the workout on your own time.
Unfortunately middle school sports will not be happening this year because of league rules. Basketball season is also not happening as of now but that may change in the future. If there is no basketball season Britt brought up the possibility of having scrimmages that would happen between only northwest School students, but it would ultimately depend on the severity of COVID-19 at that time. For now there will not be an official basketball season in the 2020-2021 school year.
Sports this year mean so much more than they ever have before. For many students, sports is the only way for them to see their friends, or to meet their fellow peers. Britt has said that the sportsmanship this year has been amazing, and although it does get competitive there’s a very different feel to the games. Students are all “just happy to be outside playing again.”