By: Avery Hudkins
Imagine hearing the big cheers and yells during a sports game. This year they will be cut in half and muffled through masks. The Jenks soccer team along with other sports teams will be facing some pressures and struggles this upcoming year due to the pandemic. They are doing everything in their power to be safe and smart about this situation however this will be a stressful journey.
Jo Johnson, head coach of the Jenks High School girls soccer team, is finding every way possible to have a successful season this year. The team is determined to bring home a state title this year but this will be challenging with the spread of COVID-19. All sports teams are receiving negative backlash from an upset community that is worried about the spread of COVID-19 through their season.
If any player is diagnosed COVID-19 or has been exposed to the virus they have to automatically quarantine for two weeks. With this situation, a player’s progress can be slowed down greatly. Their speed, strength, and skill can decrease a lot in this two week span. Players are taking precautions, however it’s almost impossible not to get exposed.
“The biggest impact Corona has had on the team is availability and overall depth of the program,” Johnson explains. “I believe teams that will have successful seasons this year will be able to adapt and have good depth within the program to accommodate those that have to quarantine. Being flexible and having athletes that can play in multiple positions is key.”
Players are also dealing greatly with the struggles and pressures from this virus. Players work hard all season and then the state finals are approaching and a player comes in close contact with someone who has the virus. They are sent immediately home from school and soccer for two weeks. All of their hard work,time, and dedication is crushed in a second. Many teams are having to deal with this hard truth. Although it seems unfair, it is a safety precaution any school or team is required to make.
11th grade player on the team, Lauren Vanhorn, claims, “As an athlete, I feel it is stressful to maintain a positive attitude for this upcoming season. Teams don’t know how long their season could last…”
Whether you are practicing, lifting, or running a team must practice social distancing. Coaches set up six feet apart drills as well as making everyone clean their space and the weights they used during lifting. Players and coaches must also wear a mask at all times in an inside area.
“Trying to balance productivity and safety is one of the hardest tasks to maintain,” Bailey Parmiter, assistant coach, says.
Although getting through this year will be a hassle, the team is very excited for their upcoming seasons and hope to push through all the obstacles and be successful. It’s important for teams to come together during this hard time and focus on what needs to be accomplished and not get overwhelmed with everything going on in the world right now. It will be exciting to see how far and what teams accomplish during their upcoming seasons.
To keep up to date with Jenks soccer, check out these websites to stay tuned for their upcoming spring season.