How Student Athletes Have Dealt With COVID-19

The start of fall sports is one of the most exciting times of the year for a student athlete and the school community. The postponement of high school sports for the 2020-2021 seasons in Maryland, however, has limited this excitement and made it difficult for athletes to prepare for what’s to come.

Until play resumes for the winter season, which is set to begin on February 1, 2021, the number one priority for student athletes is to find a way to train, given the current circumstances. Teams have taken advantage of virtual tools such as Zoom to keep up with workout regimens and have also begun limited in-person activity.  

The Centennial boys’ varsity soccer team often meets up at the school to practice and even participates in a league, hosted by the Soccer Association of Columbia, where they compete against other schools in the county.

Junior Andrew Fritz stated, ”We can’t do anything officially, but we’re doing everything we can unofficially to make sure we’re ready.” 

Athletes looking to further their careers in college have also been facing challenges, as the pandemic has made the recruiting process primarily virtual. Some recruiting camps are still in session with heavy safety precautions, but there is limited communication between interested players and coaches.

This year, it’s up to the players to show the schools how interested they are in committing. “The bulk of this recruiting is basically a bunch of emails to all the schools you want to play at, a bunch of virtual visits with schools who want you to play for, and a bunch of phone calls with coaches learning who you are,” said Dylan Watson, a senior looking to commit for football. 

Michelle Weaver, a senior cross country and track runner, explained, “Normally you would be allowed to run with the current college team or do an ‘overnight’ to get a feel for the team better, but you can’t do that anymore.” This creates a stressful environment for students, as the lack of visitation could lead to poor judgement when deciding where to commit.

Although it’s mainly affected seniors, COVID-19 has presented issues to younger high school athletes as well.

 “Because of COVID, [colleges] are so focused on all the seniors that are going to college because they haven’t really had the chance to see them play in person,” claimed Fritz. The lack of focus on the juniors could create a dangerous domino effect for the future of recruiting.

Luckily, most athletes have done their best to make the best of the unfortunate situation. They’ve used this time to learn self-motivation and get ahead of their opponents. 

“This is a great time to take advantage of the situation and get many miles in,” said Weaver. “If someone was faster before quarantine, but they aren’t running as much now, then [our team] can use this time to catch up.” 

Watson also spoke on the strides he had to take to ensure he was staying in shape. “It’s very easy to do what you need to do when it’s right there in front of you. It’s so, so easy,” he voiced. “Now I’ve really learned how to wake up and know what I need to do no matter how challenging it is.”


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