Club And Travel Sports Teams Return To Play

Many Cougar athletes spend weekends competing while school sports remain limited


by Josh Dick from Pixabay

Colby Brown and Justin Kuropas

Traveling sports teams and clubs have endured many troubles with Covid-19. A number of teams have not been able to play and are only just starting due to the global health crisis. But in light of these events, the teams have adapted in order to safely continue  their activities. 

One of the players that have adapted to the changes is senior Ethan Chapman, who describes the precautions his hockey team takes.

“Our team gets tested for COVID-19 every two weeks, and you have to wear masks on the bus and in the facilities,” Chapman said. “Also, we are only allowed to hang out with up to four people at a time, and if you are caught going to a party, you risk being suspended or kicked off of the team.”

Chapman’s team also follows other safety measures with traveling in general to keep his fellow players and those around the team safe.

“Our team is staying on one bus and keeping the team distant from everyone else at the hotel and rinks. We are also not allowed to go outside of the hotel for any reason without permission,” Chapman said.

Another aspect of traveling sports is college coaches recruiting travel players for their teams. But as senior Issac Williams notes, the recruitment process has changed dramatically, too.

“There were some setbacks at the start of the pandemic with our recruiting, but throughout the summer our coaches took more and more videos to put on social media and send to college coaches. Along with the coaches not being able to come out and watch us play in person, there were a lot more phone calls compared to campus tours,” Williams said. “Luckily for my team and I, we had multiple offers, so we were able to make decisions of where we wanted to continue our school and baseball careers.”

After such a long time period of no activities, athletes are having to recover from the months they have spent away from their sports.

“A goal I have is to get more in shape, and I feel like that’s a goal for my team as well. We really want to get our fitness levels to where they were before coronavirus,” sophomore soccer player Laney Newman said.

Senior Josh Buxbaum and the golf team have experienced both positives and negatives because of the extra time that the coronavirus has created.

“The pandemic has definitely made some of our morales lower, but also some higher. For a lot of us, we are happy that we get to golf all day and get better, but we also wish things would return to normal,” Buxbaum said.

As club sports are continuing on, sophomore Reagan Blalock believes that the Wake County school system should follow in their footsteps and restart sports.

Blalock said, “I think Wake County should allow us to play sports. Many kids are affected heavily mentally and physically when they aren’t able to play their sport. If people don’t feel comfortable with it, they can choose not to participate.”