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Lancer coaches, athletes weigh in on sports

This spring, many sports around the country were canceled due to the fears of COVID-19. In our state, Gov. Tom Wolf has stated that it might be too early to determine if fall sports can happen. Many coaches and players that I interviewed are looking forward to fall sports and hope that it makes up for the loss of spring sports.

Even though starting fall sports with the pandemic might not be perfect, the Loyalsock Township School District is still trying to figure out ways to come together — whether it’s encouraging a group to run six feet apart from each other, individually hitting softballs or doing contactless basketball drills. Many believe disinfecting equipment and doing COVID-19 tests will certainly help keep everyone safe as well.

I interviewed coaches to get their opinions on starting sports in the fall. I asked Curtis Jacobson, basketball coach, and Nicole Reed, cross country and track coach, their thoughts. Reed and Jacobson are ready to get back together with their teams and ready to do whatever it takes to keep themselves and their players healthy.

Coach Reed has even set up a Go the Distance campaign and has encouraged group runs for many weeks. Go the Distance is a campaign where students and their families can be active inside or outside, mostly by running, but students and families can also walk, bike or hike. Many have been participating in this campaign since March and have supported students, teachers, small businesses, charitable businesses and non-profit organizations just by getting active.

Coach Jacobson thinks there is no real way to social distance and not touch each other in basketball, and on the other hand, Coach Reed thinks that cross country is the best sport for social distancing.

In cross county, athletes don’t need to use the same equipment or be close to each other. Both coaches are eager to get more information from the state on July 1 about what safety precautions they should put in place in their sports. They both assume that the players may have to get a temperature check before games and practices, but they both think it is a great idea.

I also spoke with some of the cross country players as well to get their thoughts.

Seventh grader Lauren O’Malley says that she’s excited to get back to playing sports, but she is nervous as well. Abby Pietraski and Caidence Smith, also seventh graders, are excited as well but say they are not nervous at all since they will be cautious.

O’Malley, Pietraski and Smith all think that we should continue social distancing, along with sanitizing equipment, getting a temperature check of the players and trying to build up immunity.

Overall, the Loyalsock athletes and coaches were disappointed about how the end of the year turned out. We all wish that we could’ve had spring sports especially for the high school students going on to college. In my opinion, I am super excited to get back to playing sports and hanging out with my friends.

Hopefully, the sports in the fall will make up for the sports seasons that were lost in the spring.

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