VHS Basketball: Covid Edition

2020 has been crazy for everyone. Students, teachers, the working class. Everyone has felt the same effect of the Covid-19 virus that has held everyone down for almost a year. It has sent our normal lives in a spiral. However, one group of people it has specifically affected is athletes.

The 2020 spring season was completely cancelled, and the 2020 fall season was held with  heavy restrictions, with the risk of season shutdowns all year. Every week it seemed schools were shutting their athletic programs down. It came to Verona right before their last football game, shutting down their season.

So the big question was how winter sports would be handled, primarily because they are indoors. However, the boys and girls basketball teams have both started practicing and playing to this point, but seniors and hopeful college athletes are feeling the pressure of losing their season or having the recruitment process affected. So far, basketball is taking measures as far as not using a locker room doing daily temperature checks, and wearing masks when not actively playing basketball. Another big risk is also how the other programs carry themselves on and off the court, because carelessness can lead to contracting the virus and spreading it to other teams. Verona has been doing an effective job at containing the virus in their athletic programs, and are taking it very seriously, which is a good thing.

Sophomore guard Emily Baumgard said that she is grateful for the opportunity to play for the school regarding all the uncertainty with the season, especially after she wasn’t able to play AAU which she normally does year round. This will be her first time back on the court and playing games in months, and is okay with losing ten games off their normal length schedule of 20, because it is better than nothing. She did comment on how it is strange playing in front of no fans, which is a new scene to most athletes.

On the boys side, senior big man Andrew Meyer is happy to be back on the court, and similar to Emily is grateful for the season he was given despite the shortened schedule. Meyer also commented on how both teams are doing a good job at temperature checks, social distancing, and wearing masks when needed. He says how he mostly wants to stay healthy, but stay competitive as well. Senior guard Kyle Malanga said many things along the same lines, and commented on how most of the players thought there would be no season, but to have one is a blessing. 

With a lot of uncertainty this season, both teams are looking to prove a lot of people wrong. Winning is obviously on their minds, but staying safe on and off the court seems to be their biggest priority right now, which is a good thing.