Winter Sports stay safe during pandemic

Lydia Urice
Podcast Editor

Junior Eliza Maupin fights for the ball at the Dec. 5, 2019, women’s Varsity basketball game  game against Lutheran South. Webster went on to win the game 48-37.  “Beating them felt like a relief and an accomplishment,”  Maupin said over text. Photo by Emily Goben.

Both women’s and men’s basketball and wrestling practices started on Nov. 2. Women’s swimming and diving began on Nov. 9.

“We are using the same precautions that we used for our fall sports teams which include things such as daily screenings of all participants, limiting the size of groups and incorporating physical distancing when possible,” activities director Jerry Collins said over email.

“One increased precaution for the winter is that all involved persons must wear face coverings at all times including while the students are practicing and playing. The only exception is that the swimmers and divers are not wearing face coverings while they are in the water,” Collins said over email.

“When we compete, we do our best to follow the rules for the area we are competing in and stay as safe as we can. All teams have to perform screenings, fans are limited or eliminated from attendance. Wrestlers will stay masked in all areas,” wrestling coach James LeMay said over email.

“We arrive with jerseys on to avoid using locker rooms, practice & play in masks, socially distance the bench, no spectators are allowed, and we disinfect regularly. We’ve also modified our schedule to have 48 hour gaps between games to limit exposure to multiple teams at once,” head coach Justin Mathes said over email.

“We are playing games and other competitions for basketball, wrestling, and swimming/diving. In addition to all of the precautions that we are incorporating for practices (including wearing masks at all times), we are not currently allowing any spectators at any of our home games. That is consistent with the other Suburban Conference schools that are in St. Louis County. We will re-evaluate allowing spectators over the next few weeks and for the remainder of the season,” Collins said over email.

“It should be noted that while we are in very close contact, a wrestling match is only a maximum of eight minutes long. You could be in close proximity, sometimes closer, for longer when you are at school, church or other places that feel less scary than a wrestling mat during competition,” LeMay said over email.

“Like all of the sports that are contact oriented we are practicing masked at all times, except when getting a drink. We also are grouped up into different ‘pods’ based on weight and experience. This will ensure at least a 6 ft. distance between practice partners groups, so that if one of a group gets sick, then only that group should have to quarantine. We continue to vacuum and mop our mats daily (something we already did) to keep any stray bacteria/fungus/virus particles from existing on the mat surfaces. Finally, we have skin creams/foams that form a barrier if applied correctly, and a cleansing wipes distributed to each group of wrestlers for after practice. We also encourage showering here at the school post practice,” LeMay said over email.

“Our first game is on Wednesday, Dec. 14, and we’re looking forward to competing,” Mathes said over email.

“We are live-streaming as many events as possible so that parents and other spectators can watch the games from home. All of our basketball and wrestling events that are played in Roberts Gym will be live-streamed on our school YouTube channel, WGHS-Daily Announcements,” Collins said over email.

See Also: Players express views about social distancing in sports

Lydia Urice – Podcast Editor

This will be Lydia Urice’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her freshman year.

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