Making the Best Virtual Sports

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Photo courtesy of Fluvanna Photos

Junior Kobe Edmonds (2019 – 2020)

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No one could have ever imagined a world where sports viewing opportunities would halt, then become virtual. But with little to choose from, virtual sports has become popular and successful in these times of confinement and distancing.

Sports have been odd ever since Covid-19 hit. Athletes went months without practicing or doing any team training, so it took some time for the coaches to figure out how to get the team together while being safe, and following the safety protocols. Coaches would have Zoom meetings with the players to encourage them to stay active, and make sure they were in shape for the fall season.

This has been true for high school sports as well. As a result of Covid-19, this year’s FCHS fall season got pushed back to begin on Feb. 15 and to end on May 1, instead of starting in August and going through November. Having fall sports play during the winter means not as many games will be played, plus there will be a lot more restrictions on what athletes can and can’t do, such as having to wear a mask when coming out of the game and sitting on the sidelines.

“Not being able to be on the field on Friday night lights and not seeing the crowd giving us support is hard after all the years of playing in the fall,” said FCHS varsity football athlete Kobe Edmonds, who added, “but I’m working everyday to get ready for the season to start in February.”

Having 10 weeks each for winter, fall, and spring sports seasons will be different for the athletes, as some teams have already started training. For example, the girls and boys basketball teams have been going to the school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays since August for their conditioning. They have to wear masks when entering and leaving the school, but are allowed to take them off when sprinting and while playing basketball. They also have to keep as much distance as they can between one another as a precaution.

At the beginning of July, Fluvanna’s field hockey team was training, thinking they would have a fall season, but they had to stop after the number of Covid-19 cases in Fluvanna started to increase. Sophomore Lauren Hamilton was philosophical about the change. “After training in July, I’ve been keeping up with my physical activity to stay fit for the season, but I’m glad for everyone’s safety it was pushed back,” she said.

In crazy and hectic times like this, many students agree that the Virginia High School League (VHSL) made the smarter choice so that everyone stays safe. VHSL thought it best to delay the seasons and cut them shorter; if they would have made another choice, some sports would not have a season. Most students would rather not have that option, because some athletes look forward to high school sports since they don’t play travel sports. “Even if [the season is\ short, I still get my junior season with my team rather than sitting out and waiting till my senior year,” said junior and FCHS basketball team player Blaise Silverman.