Covid vs. Reagan Athletics


Carson Keaton, Henry Bowen, and Tsion Saunders

2020 has no doubt been different then we had thought. With all the things going on in the world, one of the problems that affects some high schoolers is the cancellation and postponement of athletics. Back in March when all of the Covid-19  restrictions began, spring sports were cancelled very quickly, preventing the Class of 2020 seniors from playing in their senior seasons. Now that the Class of 2020 has graduated and moved on to a new chapter in their lives, the Class of 2021 is now faced with a different challenge.

17 out of 18 athletic teams at Reagan are planning to play during the 2020-2021 school year. The only sport that is not planning on playing at this time is Field Hockey. 

Field Hockey in North Carolina is not part of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. Instead, they are part of the North Carolina Field Hockey Association. Due to them being part of an independent organization, the NCFHA decided in August to cancel the 2020 season.

“The NCFHA does recognize the potential (nothing is confirmed) for fall sports to be allocated a modified schedule during the traditional spring season and fully supports member schools participating. If the North Carolina High School Athletic Association sets parameters in 2021 for a modified fall season (during the spring months) we will comply with those regulations if we are able to successfully have 14 teams able and willing to participate in this modified spring season format (pending this is the decision of the NCHSAA),” the NCFHA said.

Some athletic teams at Reagan have been able to workout in these past couple months. Football, Basketball, Volleyball, and Soccer have been holding 45 minute workouts at Reagan.

When the NCHSAA announced they would begin allowing teams to hold workouts they gave strict guidelines. Some of the guidelines included, groups could not be bigger than 25 people (including coaches), the teams could not use any physical objects; things like balls, whistles, cones, etc.

Every coach and athlete is required to wear a mask during check in, have their temperature taken, and answer a few Covid-19 safety questions. The athletes have to bring their own water and can not share with other teammates. 

Coaches are required to wear masks during the actual workout. These precautions are considered NCHSAA Phase 1.

A few weeks later when the revised 2020-2021 athletic schedule was released, the schedule was changed. In Phase 2, teams could start to use the physical objects like balls and cones and were allowed to access weight rooms and locker rooms with smaller groups.

With the new regulations, the NCHSAA stated that it was up to each county to decide if they felt comfortable moving to Phase 2. Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools did not elect to move to Phase 2. Starting on the week of Sept. 14, WSFCS did allow for sports to move to Phase 2. 

Just last week NCHSAA came out and again lessened some of the restrictions. Now teams can have groups of 50 people outside (still including coaches) and 25 inside.

Workouts can now last for 90 minutes instead of 45 and sports can continue using weight rooms and locker rooms under the indoor number of 25. 

WSFCS has not allowed the athletic teams to follow these new guidelines and are staying in Phase 2. All of these are big steps in the right direction for playing this school year.

The first athletic season is scheduled to begin on Nov. 14 with Cross Country and Volleyball. If you would like to look at the NCHSAA revised 2020-2021 athletics calendar it can be found at this link: 9.15.2020 Amended Sports Calendar.

One sport that has been affected is basketball. The Reagan High School basketball team’s first real practice is Dec. 7 and their first game is on Jan. 4. 

“Under the covid restrictions we are only allowed to workout outside without a ball and limited groups,” says basketball coach Adam Muse. 

Baseball is another sport in particular that Covid-19 has affected greatly. The Reagan High School Baseball team season has been reduced from 24 games to 14 games. The team is also not allowed to have practices right now.

“We’re planning on having our season based on the guidelines the NCHSAA put out,” said baseball coach Lee Miller.

We asked a variety of questions to student-athletes from different sports. 

“Covid-19 has affected me by not being able to begin my senior year by playing volleyball. Since it’s my last year playing it is sad that I haven’t been able to be on the court with my teammates. I do agree with pushing back all sports because even though some aren’t in contact and could be played safely it isn’t fair to those who play contact sports. I think that safety should be the number one priority during this time. One thing that is the new normal is that we will have to wear masks when we aren’t playing.  I hope that we will get a season even if it is a little different from past years,” said senior of the Volleyball team Katherine Liontis.

The wrestling team is having to wait the longest to start their season. We asked a couple of wrestlers how the postponement of their season affected them.

“It affected our season because it’s pushed back and that we have to follow certain conditions. Yes, I do agree with the decision of pushing our season back because it gives us more time for it to clear up and for all the athletes to get ready for the season. Something that will be the new normal is checking temperatures before each match and filling out a form before each match, also disinfecting everything all the time.” said Devin Richards, a Prelim Wrestler. 

“COVID has already pushed back our season by at least 3 months and it could be more. One thing that will be the new normal is we will have to be way cleaner and spend a lot more time making sure everything is clean.” Said Luke Larkins, a sophomore.

Covid-19 has no doubt affected athletics at Reagan, but every sport is trying to make the best out of this difficult and weird time. The most important thing is that the state and WSFCS are both doing the best they can to ensure safety for all athletes and coaches.