This year, Westminster sports have been very different from years past. Due to COVID-19, one main component that has been added to sports is the requirement of masks during practice. Even though masks were not required for games, athletes and coaches still stayed to fight for athletics.
At the beginning of the season, Westminster informed athletes that masks were only required during practice and not games. Some players disagreed with this inconsistency. “I do not agree with wearing masks during practice because we are still touching and bumping each other,” says 8th grader Johnny Jackson. “I also don’t think it will make a difference because we aren’t wearing masks in the game and If we aren’t wearing masks in the game, I don’t think we should have to wear them in practice.”
Masks have many effects on sports, such as the struggle of breathing. Even though athletes have struggled to play, masks have been a huge part of keeping athletics here at Westminster. “It has been hard but I think the farther we have gotten along, the goal has shifted to let’s play as much basketball as we can,” says Katie Argall, the Varsity Girls Basketball coach. “We recognized that wearing a mask is going to keep us out there.”
Coaches have likewise struggled with the new requirement. “I already have a voice that does not carry far so I have a different mask that helps them hear me better,” says Argall. “Masks have definitely changed the way we can interact with the kids. It’s changed huddles and close conversations as well.”
Even though masks have caused a lot of conflicts, they have helped keep athletics here at Westminster, and that’s all anyone can ask for during these hard times. The players and coaches have shown that making this small sacrifice is worth keeping these incredible traditions.