The long awaited return of athletic competition to the Superior High School finally became a reality on Monday Dec. 28.
Several precautions are taking place to help keep COVID numbers down in the school district and in the community as well.
“Athletics came back about two weeks before the student population came back to school. Any athlete that comes in has to sign a Google form simply saying I’m here today, I feel good, I don’t have any symptoms, and that we are okay to participate,” said Ella Olson, SHS Athletic Director.
According to Olson, the athletics department is following the same quarantine protocols that all students in the school are following. Coaches are making sure that students understand that if they do something outside of school that could hurt the team, it could shut everything down for two weeks. Olson is encouraging coaches to communicate with athletes and let them know that they need to think about not only themselves and the team, but how COVID affects the entire community.
In addition to the google forms, when sports first came back the student athletes were required to have their temperatures taken when arriving at practice. That is not a requirement anymore however most teams are required to take temps before all games.
“We currently have to take our temperatures before games, wear masks, and during games we use hand sanitizer when subbing in and out,” says Emma Cooper, a junior who plays forward for the Superior girls basketball team.
Olson said, “I have watched a lot of games where other school districts have come to play us, and our student athletes are doing a really great job on keeping masks on, staying socially distinct when possible and keeping everyone safe.”
Many teams have missed out on a lot of practices, games, meets, tournaments, and other sports related events. According to Emma Fornengo, left wing for the girls hockey team, her team usually plays about 22 games in a season and they have been incredibly lucky to receive 15 games this season.
Student athletes are maintaining a positive disposition during a difficult time.
“It sucks that we missed out on so many practices, but we have to have a mentality that keeps us going and focused on whatever opportunity we get. We had to work extra hard to make up lost time and we just have to keep on trucking ahead. We’ve stayed positive about the situation and Coach Coleman has made it a point this season that COVID will not define who we are as a wrestling team,” said Jason Thomas, a sophomore on the SHS wrestling team.
The focus of athletics at SHS has shifted this year. Instead of concentrating so much on winning, the teams are just thankful for the opportunity to have some sort of season, even if it looks different from previous years.
Olson said, “Teams are happy to be competing. That is the number one thing that we are talking about with our sports right now. It is fun to win, we know that, but the biggest thing is that our athletes get to practice with their friends and be active and do the things they love. So, that’s what we’re going with this year.”