A team effort is needed to ensure sports go on

Joshua Clark, joshua@glenrockind.com

After months of uncertainty, high school sports will make their return on time this fall, with practices beginning less than a week from today. 


This is undoubtably a reason to rejoice, but unfortunately the uncertainty caused by COVID still remains, a hovering dark cloud that you pray the sun will break through.


In Wyoming, and particularly Converse County, we have been lucky. I often remark on how I moved to this state just in time, as only two months after I packed up and left New York, the state was ravaged by the  novel coronavirus. The rural lifestyle here has saved many from that outcome.


That luck may lull us into a belief that the coronavirus isn’t as serious as it is. Luckily that isn’t the case for our school district and the Wyoming High School Activities Association, who are doing everything they can to mitigate the risks associated with bringing kids back to school and playing sports.


Still the risk remains and parents, fans and especially us in the media attending the events need to do everything we can to not put these student-athletes’ season and health in jeopardy. 


Teams will be able to control the safety measures the students follow, with regular screenings and sanitizing of equipment and facilities, but will only be able to do so much about those in the stands. That is where personal responsibility must come into play.


In the WHSAA’s guidelines released late last month, it states that spectators must wear masks when six-feet of social distancing is not possible. It’s also suggested that people stay within familial groups, and partake in minimal interactions with other guests.


We have all seen the resistance to wearing a mask: Those who believe it is not effective, or they simply shouldn’t be told what to do. As an American, that is your right, regardless if I or others disagree with you. 


If you are one of these people, I implore you to remember who high school sports are for.  If you’re thinking of attending a game without wearing a mask, think of the seniors on the field, court or track who will never get to compete again if this season, God forbid, gets cancelled.


Think of the high school seniors who may not be playing in any of the sports, but are enjoying their last days of cheering on the hometown team as a student, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


The memories that we hold onto dearly can be stolen from these kids at any moment, as the graduating class of 2020 can tell you.


Athletics across the county are being postponed or flat out cancelled. The WHSAA, the Wyoming Department of Health and Department of Education have done their best to make sure that doesn’t happen here. Now it’s time for all of us to do our part.



Glenrock Independent

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