Players express views about social distancing in sports

Kelly Woodyard
Contributing Writer


Senior Jon Campbell takes the ball down the wing, towards goal after winning the challenge against Clayton defender. The team has played its first game of the season under social distancing guidelines. The Statesmen continue their schedule in the following weeks.
Phot by Kelly Woodyard

Previously deemed high contact sports have been given the okay upon review. Webster teams have begun games and adapted to the social distance regulations, and players have expressed their opinions. 

Considered as a low contact sport, softball was okay to play from the beginning. Prior to its season, the team had practices under social distancing guidelines. 

“The first week of practice felt really weird, and it was hard to really communicate with my teammates on the field while wearing a mask. Overtime we got used to it, and it feels normal to wait to be screened then sit one at a fence section,” senior Nicola Rikand explained.

The first game of the season, an hour bus ride from Webster, at Borgia High School in Washington, felt strange to the team.

“When we played Borgia out in Washington, the other team wasn’t really wearing their masks, and most of the Webster girls felt a little uncomfortable with that. Otherwise it didn’t affect our energy or playing at all,” Rikand said after the team’s 12-0 win over Borgia. 

In contrast to playing an away game, the team had a much different experience when it came to playing a home game shortly after their big win an hour away. 

“During senior night things felt a little more normal since we were at home and Kirkwood upholds some of the same standards. It was a really solid game, but the senior celebrations felt really unconventional because we couldn’t do the same things like previous years have done,” Rikand said. 

This feeling with lack of celebratory activities is a shared experience amongst the sports teams. With the limitations on the number of spectators and fan support playing a role in the overall atmosphere of the game, this could be a disadvantage in certain sports. 

Consisting of the largest number of participants, cross country’s season has begun as well. Senior runner Brett Krueger shares a similar outlook with Rikand on how different sports are under the new social distancing guidelines.

“Personally, I believe that if all sports can’t compete, none should be able to, so, once we were allowed to compete and other sports weren’t, it didn’t make sense to me because I know cross country is impossible to not contact with other kids,” Krueger said. 

Originally, the team traveled to compete in Festus, similarly to the softball team and the differences were equally surprising to Krueger as they were to Rikand. 

“After going to a meet outside of St. Louis County and seeing how different things were, it was quite a shock. Now, going to a meet within the county and regulations being higher, it’s definitely strange and doesn’t feel normal. I’m grateful to be able to compete with my team and it doesn’t seem like a normal season and doesn’t seem right to even think about competing against dozens of other teams or [the] state [meet] or anything,” Krueger said.

 

 


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