Valley’s Plan to Bring Back Sports

With+school+reopening%2C+Valley+sports+will+be+coming+back+as+well.+The+return+was+planned+to+keep+the+safety+of+athletes+and+coaches+in+mind.

Kahleia Corpuz

With school reopening, Valley sports will be coming back as well. The return was planned to keep the safety of athletes and coaches in mind.

Kahleia Corpuz, Editor-in-Chief

Along with students coming back to campus, Valley’s spring sports and cheer are returning to Valley in a COVID-19 friendly way.

Spring sports will be coming back in full force in a modified six week season, and fall sports will come back in the form of intramurals. Spring sports will begin with intramurals on Monday, March 22, but they will have tryouts on April 3 and begin playing their season at that point. The intramurals for most fall sports will start May 3rd, with football beginning April 6. However, the way Valley sports are played and conducted will differ in a variety of ways to keep events safe.

All athletes, coaches, referees, and team staff will be required to take a COVID test before the season starts. All student athletes will need to produce a negative test result no more than two weeks before playing. Weekly tests will be done for students participating in football, softball, and baseball. Likewise, the opposing teams will also be subject to these standards.

Temperature checks and health screenings will also happen before any games and practices are conducted to ensure that all of their bases are covered. In the event that any of the individuals involved produce a positive COVID test, everyone in close contact with the individual will have to quarantine for fourteen days and produce a negative test result. If an athlete shows symptoms or has produced a positive test, they will be escorted to a designated sick room or asked to leave the premises.

Along with these screenings and temperature checks, athletes will have to come to their games fully dressed as there will be no locker room access for visiting teams. Athletes will also need to bring their own water bottles as well.

While the regular school day for hybrid students will end early, athletes will most likely need to stay the entirety of a regular school day. They will be subject to constant health screenings and temperature checks whether it will be for home or away games.

“That’s a part of our new normal — our athletes are going to be spending a full day,” Assistant Principal Thomas Smith said. “….Again, if a kid becomes symptomatic, we have to get them to our wellness rooms. We can’t allow visitors on campus to come for games. It’s going to come across mean to some people, but we have to be very diligent in this way. We have to be diligent and purposeful with what we do. We have to keep everyone masked up, social distancing, not bringing water or outside stuff.”

No spectators will be allowed to view live games, otherwise, they will be kicked off campus. To prevent that from happening, there will now be at least one administrator at every game that is happening. However, if an event takes place in Valley’s gym or stadium, those games will be livestreamed on the NFHS Network.

“I think that athletics is a vital part of what we do as a school community,” Smith said. “We have to make sure that we do it safely. It comes from a lot of coaches; we’ll put a lot of things at risk. I did Division 1 football, and I put my body out there….you have to come out and be like, ‘is it safe? Let’s make sure what we’re doing is best and what we are doing is safe.’”

Smith was excited to hear about Valley sports returning because he claims the lack of sports took away his sense of purpose and understands that Valley’s student athletes may have felt that way as well. However, Smith reminds Valley’s student athletes about what they have to do before even stepping on campus to participate in sports.

“They know it, a million times, that they need to get their Register My Athlete done, and they need to go out and get a COVID test and bring it to the office or email it to me,” Smith said. “I want all of our student athletes to come back and participate.”

While it may seem like a lot, Smith pleads with student athletes to get tested and to come back to campus to partake in sports.

“We could really finish with some good culture and good camaraderie,” Smith said. “We need [athletes] back, and we need to get them back to business, getting a COVID test really takes 10 minutes, so we can have them back. Right now, there are two sports that have new uniforms. We want to see them all sharp, dressed in Valley uniforms.”