Should Sports Restart

George Samra, Sports Editor

A state championship is the ultimate embodiment of team success in high school. It symbolizes that the work the players and coaches put in during the season and the off-season as well has paid off with recognition as the best team in the state that year. For a lot of teams, reaching the state tournament is an accomplishment. The boys’ soccer team, girls’ field hockey and golf teams are some of the teams with historic runs to state finals this year. However, for some teams, the chance at a state title was taken away, like so many other things in this God-forsaken year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I, however, do not believe that we should continue with the fall sports either in the winter or the spring. 

I would love to see high school football, I would love to cheer our girls swim team on as they try and win another state championship, however, I do not believe that the time is right to try and restart sports. With the way that this virus and preventative measures have been moving along, coupled with the fact that we are right upon the holiday season, where people are more likely to see people outside of their family units, we are looking at, at the very earliest, a mid-January start to these sports. That is a problem, especially with football. In the NFL this year, the league with billions of dollars in revenue, a lot of which they could and have put towards preventative measures, we have seen a rise in injuries.

This rise is often attributed to the lack of preseason to help ease the players into the beginning of the season. The same phenomenon would occur at the high school level. If we were to try and keep the players the healthiest they could be, both relating to COVID-19 as well as general football and sports injuries, the safest time to play would have to be mid to late February. This would allow, provided the Governor’s order lapses in mid-January, players the chance to get their bodies prepared to play high-intensity sports. Even though players have the option to go to the gym by themselves, the players in the NFL did too, and some of them have better gyms in their homes than most high school athletes could ever dream of. This has not stopped the top players in the NFL from getting injured. It is pretty clear that without a month or two of preparation, the players will be at increased health risk. And the health risks in football can be far-reaching. Concussions with bad side effects can forever damage someone’s brain, ligament tears can take over a year to rehab. It doesn’t seem worth it to take the risk.

Even if we were to get everything organized to play, it would be mid-February or around the time that winter sports would normally be wrapping up. By catering to the people who play fall sports, we take away entire seasons from athletes who put in just as much work as the ones who play fall sports, and who likely got the end or all of their seasons last year taken away by this pandemic. The football and girls swimming teams at least got part of a season, to take away an entire season from winter or spring athletes just to have one more meet or play 1-3 more games seems unfair and not worth the risk of injury or outbreak.