High School Sports take a Drastic Turn Following CDC Guidelines

Ever since COVID-19 school closures, high school sports have been pushed back, causing student-athletes to miss opportunities. This also affects how much each sport has changed since they need to follow the CDC rules and guidelines. Most players are experiencing mixed feelings for their sports because they haven’t been able to play. 

Practices and games are especially different for high school sports. According to Tommy Cassell, a sports editor from Milford Daily News, “High School sports had a different look this fall due to COVID-19.” Most practices are on Zoom calls and when there is a practice in person “hugs are traded in for air high fives, and smiles were traded with masks.” During practices, everyone must have their own equipment to train with and after each use, it must be sanitized. Trying to practice is also becoming a difficulty because of 6 feet apart rules. But, with these new changes teens are still questioning if they will have high school games and what they would be like.

Vanden High School has been partaking in conditioning since California’s guidelines did not allow any games to be going on before February 26. Although there aren’t any games going on in California right now, Vanden’s student-athletes might find hope for future sports due to Athletic Director Matthew Bidou’s comments, “I believe based on the fact we at Vanden have been doing sports conditioning since July 2020 we can compete safely.” Bidou also believes, “as the tiers for covid improve,” sports should be able to start competing.  Student-athletes will likely welcome this news, as they have been waiting to play and need high school sports to get a higher education

Having to experience playing a high school sport during these times can be “especially hard” said Ryan Merlis from Rodriguez High School. According to the sports article “Recruiting Code,” these teens are facing a time where they need sports to get into college and their “mental health is at an all-time low.” In fact, during Covid-19  student-athletes have feared remaining hidden and not gaining the exposure to colleges they need from competing. Ryan Merlis a California basketball coach says, “The kids who aren’t able to get recruited can lead to the young women and men without college prospects and eventually will continue facing barriers to employment, this can even lead to them ending up on the streets with missed opportunities.” College recruiters may struggle with the new way they have to recruit athletes without a typical season. 

With College recruiting for high schools it has been a little different. Instead of being in person, many coaches are recruiting students online. One University of Berkley campus guide says, “Sites like Instagram Live, Youtube Live, Google Hangouts, and more can all be leveraged by campus tour guides and admissions coordinators to get students excited about their next step when getting recruited.” This will help with many students’ minds knowing that they can still get recruited.

These athletes’ mental health is also a factor when it comes to how high school sports have changed. Sports are often an escape for most kids, and without it, their mental health is plummeting. 

As Matthew Bidou says, “We at Vanden take safety as the number one priority. But, there are still a few months left to get a change on how high school sports have been affected this year.”