An Update on HCPSS Sports During the Covid-19 Pandemic
By Leah Russell
Image Source: The Baltimore Sun
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown all sports seasons for a loop with the out of the box solution the NBA created for their finals in a complete bubble, and the consistent testing required for NFL teams and teams in college sports to be able to continue playing games amidst the pandemic. High school sports provide a little more of a challenge logistically, which is why there have already been multiple postponements to the start of in-person sports here at Hammond High School.
“Colleges and professional teams have a lot of money and resources that high schools just do not have,” Mr. Lerner, Hammond’s Athletic Director, discusses the obstacles that Hammond faces in starting sports, compared to some of the other leagues that are well into playing, “If you look at the NBA, they were able to have a successful season because they played in a ‘bubble’ without fans and players sequestered in hotels. In colleges, athletes can be sequestered on campus which could minimize exposure, which we do not have the ability to do at the high school level.”
Having any sort of in-person season would allow the Hammond community as a whole to have something to participate in and look forward to for students and all other community members. Mr. Lerner shares his thoughts on the virtual season, “The major benefit to a virtual season is just to have a bit of socialization and normalcy. In addition to socialization, coaches had the opportunity to bring in guest speakers, go over some strategies, provide workouts to athletes, and just be there for them.”
Many athletes have continued to practice their sport, whether hoping for a season or just to maintain their skills. But for others it has been hard to keep up with the continued cancellation and postponements happening. Many students are upset that sports were postponed again, as junior Cameron Spicher explains how not being able to prepare or train for a season may make his skills regress. But many students know that the county is just ensuring that when, or if, sports do start up, it will be safe for everyone involved, “I think Howard County always makes decisions too soon but with numbers going up they didn’t have much of a choice,” Spicher adds.
The current state of sports is still up in the air, but here is what we do know. Winter sports are scheduled to start on January 4th, followed by spring and fall at a later time, if possible. Registration will be the same virtually as it has been in person, with prospective athletes registering through a parent’s HCPSS Connect account.
More information will be sent as it comes in through the school newsletter and Canvas, as well as on Twitter @HahsAthletics. “My hope is that we are able to get on the courts, mats, and fields for all 3 seasons for this current year and in the future,” Mr. Lerner states. But the most important thing for Hammond sports right now is to have fun while staying safe during the pandemic.