Winter Sports Return, COVID-19 Remains

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As winter sports begin this year, ELHS emphasizes the importance of following COVID-19 protocols

ADAM DICKIE

With the fall sports season completed and winter sports just beginning, COVID-19 will still affect the sports taking place.

ELHS offers a wide range of choices for students to pick from when deciding on a winter sport: everything from basketball to competitive cheer.

This variety of sports provides many opportunities for students to participate in something they enjoy, but it also calls for different protocols depending on the sport.

One sport that doesn’t have many restrictions, due to difficulty in incorporating COVID-19 protocols, is swimming and diving.

“For swimming, we just have to wear masks on the pool deck. When you’re in the water you don’t, otherwise you would drown,” senior and swim team member Hawken Hammon said.

Mask wearing will still be encouraged in all sports where it is feasible to do so. If the winter protocol follows similar guidelines that the volleyball team had to follow, fans will be required to wear masks when attending winter sports games at ELHS. One of the biggest differences from last year that saw during this year’s volleyball season was the return of spectators.

The CIAC is keeping the indoor mask mandate for all winter sports, at least until after winter break, when they will assess the current situation and make changes where needed. However, even then, if a school believes they need to be more restrictive with protocol, they are able to make those changes.

“The superintendents, they carry all the weight. They can do whatever they feel is in the best interest of their school system and district,” ELHS athletic director Steve Hargis said.

If everything goes to plan, the energy and excitement might be some of the greatest seen at ELHS as fans will be itching to see the sports they haven’t been able to see for almost two years.

“A lot of our success comes from the support that we get from our fans and the momentum that they generate for the players. It was very much missed last year and something that we all are looking forward to this season,” boys
basketball coach Jeff Bernardi said.