As the school year progresses, many sports have recently started their seasons. The tennis team, badminton team, baseball team, lacrosse team, soccer team and more have commenced their season this year with new COVID-19 guidelines and teammates as their season was cut short last year.
“[It is] definitely a new experience,” Palmetto lacrosse player and senior Emily Polo said. “A lot of the new girls were definitely beginners so they are going have to get into the gist of being on the lacrosse team.”
Last March, sports that began during the spring were abruptly cancelled as the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown worsened. Most athletes faced disappointment as they had put so much work into their season just for it to end.
When the new season started this spring, many athletes felt exhilarated to have the opportunity of playing sports again. Students now have the chance to come back together as a team and practice.
On top of not playing their sport for a year, teams now also have to adjust to new players. Many seniors last year left and commenced their new journeys in life. This gives room for more improvement and bonding for the teams as new players have joined. Along with this also came new restrictions.
“The pandemic has changed the rules during matches. Everybody gets their own can of tennis balls before each match, everyone must stay six feet apart and only the players and coaches are able to come to the matches,” Palmetto tennis player and junior Jett Coetzee said.
During practice, teams also have new guidelines. They must wear masks, unless told otherwise. They also play while socially distant unless they need necessary contact. Furthermore, during games, athletes must wear a mask while not playing and, if they do play, they do not have to wear a mask. If they feel more comfortable wearing a mask, they are allowed to wear them during a game.
The district has made these rules to ensure the safety of those playing the sport and of those in contact with the athletes. They hope students can play the sports they love while also keeping them safe from COVID-19.