The snowball effect of Covid on winter sports


Sophomore Gracee Robidou holds a basketball as she poses for her picture. This is Robidou’s first year on varsity.

COVID-19 hit the girls basketball team hard. The first week brought many surprises and unexpected quarantines that could have easily set the team back for the start of the season. Luckily, the players who were stuck at home were still working hard to stay in shape. This way they were ready to get right back into the swing of things when they came back from quarantine.
Sophomore guard Gracee Robidou and junior power forward Makayla Surline were the first two to get quarantined for the season. Surline ended up testing positive for COVID-19 and was quarantined at home for 10 days. Robidou was quarantined for 28 days for being exposed to those who tested positive, which caused her to miss several weeks of practice and even the team’s first scrimmage.
Coming out of quarantine and practicing on November 28 only gave her two full practices before the team’s first game.
Allison Cole, the varsity girls coach, tested positive which resulted in her to be gone for a week as well. The team now had no coaches and key players were missing for the first weeks of practice. It was important to keep focused during these struggling times and make sure the team is doing everything they can to stay prepared for the first games. Robidou knew the importance of keeping herself in shape and prepared for the first week of the season.
“I’ve been lifting almost every night and I run a mile every other night on the treadmill. I also would go out and do some shooting drills or just shoot around for fun to stay in the flow of things,” sophomore Gracee Robidou said.
She did not want to be missing her shots or be out of shape when she returned to practice in a few weeks. Her hard work definitely showed her first day back to practice.
“I do feel like it paid off a ton,” Robidou said. “I was not out of breath while running our drills, and I was making all of my shots. I overall felt more confident in myself because of the work I put in while I was quarantined.”
The team is staying prepared, even through all the obstacles they have faced so far already this season.

The varsity basketball team has not struggled with COVID yet because most of the boys were already exposed during their football season earlier this year. This makes it very important for the team to follow the protocols in place, so they do not get exposed again. This is important for them so they can keep playing their games. The new rules in place give players the option to get tested weekly for COVID-19 so that they do not have to wear a mask.
“I like anything that empowers student athletes and their parents to make their own decisions about their health. There are obviously pros and cons that come with different benefits and risks to the test to stay policy, but ultimately it should be the parents and students’ choice. So, anything that gives us more freedom to make these choices on an individual basis is a good thing in my opinion,” coach Jacob Robidou said.

The competitive cheer team has many challenges when competing because of COVID-19. Yelling, jumping, and flipping with a mask on is completely difficult. The cheer team has to make sure those masks stay on their face, or they will be deducted points. These COVID-19 protocols make it more difficult when competing because this is always in the back of their minds.
“It is a big worry in our minds to keep our masks up in competitions because we lose major points if we do not,” junior, backspot and tubbler Adrianna Adkins said.
These same protocols were used last year. They had to keep their masks on their face the whole time they competed. Even though they had to do this last year, it does not make it any easier when competing.
“I do think we are more equipped and used to wearing masks, however that does not make it any easier on us, it’s still exhausting and difficult,” Adkins said.

The bowling team was robbed of their season last year, so this year it is very important for them to compete. The new coach, Stephen Moffatt, is in his first year coaching. Coming into a season as a first year coach is difficult considering all the COVID-19 protocols that he must follow.
“We follow the Ingham County Health Department guidelines, and we need to treat that facility like it is a part of our own facility,” coach Stephen Moffatt said. “Whatever we do here we do everywhere.”
The team is not required to wear a mask when they are bowling, but when they are not bowling, they have to wear a mask.
The bowling team has 20 kids signed up with a good mix of players from 9th through 12th grade.
“We got a good mix of some upperclassmen and freshmen; I am looking forward to it. I would like to have enough to have a full boys’ team and a full girls’ team,” Moffatt said.
The COVID-19 protocols are not as extreme as they have been in the past, but it still is very important to follow them in order to have a season.

The wrestling team had most of the basic protocols last year during their season. They were required to wear masks when on the mat. This year there were some changes made and they are not required to wear masks when they are on the mat competing. This will definitely benefit them considering that it would be extremely difficult to keep your mask up while wrestling against another person.
“I think this year it will be better because having a mask and it being a physical contact sport, they’re constantly grabbing your mask,” senior captain Kalysta Connolly said.
Last year the team was not able to wrestle against other teams because of COVID. They still continued to get better and also went to watch other teams wrestle during this time. This year they have a very new group of young first-time wrestlers who are eager to learn new things.
“I think we have got a good group of boys that are really eager to learn and better themselves,” Connolly said.