March is always a busy time for sports at Riverside. Thanks to covid, it is even busier this year.
Women’s Soccer, Men’s Tennis, Golf, and Softball began practices on March 1. Due to pandemic-related changes to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s (NCHSAA) competitive calendar some fall sports are still in season and will overlap with spring sports
For example, Men’s Soccer and Women’s Tennis are happening at the same time as Men’s Tennis and Women’s Soccer, along with sports that usually overlap, like Lacrosse and Baseball and SoftballThis means that the teams will have to share areas for practice and games: a challenge Riverside Athletics does not normally face. This year, Baseball and Soccer have to share fields, and Women’s Lacrosse and Softball have to share fields, with one team playing earlier and the other team playing when the other team is done.
District policy requires all athletes and coaches to continue wearing masks both on and off the field, and everyone to social distance as much as possible. Before every practice, athletes must go through a daily check-in procedure, which includes a temperature check and NCHSAA COVID-19 screening questions.
Some teams, like the Men’s Lacrosse team, currently do not have enough players to have a season, and most teams have not been able to have a JV team.
“In most of our sports, participation is down 20-30%,” said athletic director Robert Duncan.
Football usually has around 50-60 players, but this year it only has 25-30 players.
One reason for this is that some students do not feel comfortable playing because of covid or they do not think it is worth it to come back for a shortened season. Another reason is that transportation is not provided to practices or games.
“A vast majority of our student athletes do not drive,” Duncan said.
So if athletes do not have someone to drive them, they can not play sports. Physicals are being extended one year to try to allow as many people to play as possible.