The pandemic takes a toll on students love for their winter sports


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Indoor sports facilities all over Maryland are being affected by the recent Covid-19 outbreaks.

Ari Fine, Sports Writer

High School sports were put on pause for the majority of the last school year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but winter sports are back this year with a few developing changes, as MCPS monitors the ever changing status of covid and its variants. Covid has not just affected how teams can practice or when they play, but also the mental health of the athletes. 

Amanda Gershoni is a freshman on the Girls JV Basketball Team and due to a recent positive covid test, was quarantined and forced to watch games from home. “It was so sad because it’s basically out of your control at that point, it made me appreciate the games I did play a lot more,” Gershoni said. The Girls JV Basketball team is currently 6-4, but has had four games postponed/canceled this season. They have also played multiple games this season missing players. 

“All throughout the season there have been canceled games due to the larger number of players out,” Gershoni said. “For me, I had to miss three games for covid.” Some of the games canceled haven’t been rescheduled at this point in time. 

Not all sports games have looked the same after Covid. Indoor track has seen major changes to their meets. In the past, developmental meets were held at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex’s indoor track. The complex has been temporarily closed and used as a vaccination site. This has caused Montgomery County Athletics to pivot to outdoor meets.

“The indoor track before was a different racing environment as all of our meets were inside a sportsplex. Now having our indoor track season during covid, so many meets have been canceled and the ones that haven’t have been outside in the freezing cold,” Senior and captain of the indoor track team, Isaac Gutierrez said. Gutierrez has been on the indoor track team all four years of high school.

Games aren’t possible without consistent and quality practices which has been an issue for all teams at the school. The four basketball teams at RM have experienced a lot of canceled practices, or ones with missing players due to positive cases on the team. “Typically [at] most practices there’s always one person missing due to testing positive for covid, so when learning new plays it’s hard when not everyone is there. So you are constantly re-learning [plays] because of that,” Gershoni said.

For indoor track, practices have remained consistent because they practice outside, and can run almost anywhere. This is not the same for meets though, as they are hard to set up.  “With fewer meets and no big invitationals to look forward to, it’s definitely been harder to stay motivated and keep running,” Gutierrez said. 

Playing and practicing aren’t the only aspects that make up what it is to be a student-athlete. The mental health of players has been severely impacted by the pandemic, and differently to each person. MCPS has recently implemented a rule where if three players on a team test positive, the team must shut down for 2 weeks. 

This has caused stress and anxiety among the players because sometimes they don’t know when they might play again, or worse, the team gets shut down. “I’d have to say it’s been more stressful not knowing that my season could be canceled as it’s my last year on the team,” Gutierrez said. “Overall, as a student-athlete putting so much effort on the table and not having the chance to reap some personal records has been the forefront of my anxiety.”