High school sports are going to look a lot different than other years due to the ongoing coronavirus.
A shorter season will limit the amount of games that can be played to 14 (only 7 for football), including removing rival games with Northern. Cross country and Volleyball have been delayed until November 4, although it is likely that they will be pushed back more, or even canceled.
Men’s Basketball coach Bryan Strickland says he is optimistic about sports starting soon because Governor Roy Cooper is easing restrictions. Athletic trainer Sarah Bell believes that sports will not happen this year until North Carolina move into phase 3, which will lessen restrictions for the number of people allowed at gatherings and the number of people allowed inside.
If Riverside does get sports this year there will be a lot of safety measures, including temperature checks, cleaning of equipment, contact tracing, and even testing. Bell said it is important to have social and emotional outlets for students, but that doesn’t outweigh the dangers of the coronavirus this year.
Another concern is that the shorter seasons will lead to more problems with spacing and organizing games because there will be more sports happening at one time and less room to spread people out. Riverside may not be able to accommodate so many lot of sports happening at once. According to NCHSAA guidelines, there can only be 25 people inside and 50 people outside.
Transportation is also an issue. Since students aren’t attending school in person, there are no buses. This means students would have to find their own means of transportation, which would not be feasible for many.
“There is no perfect way to do it,” Strickland said,”but it’s more about that we can play at all, than what we are losing.”