Covid Cases Rise as Sports Personnel Decline

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Anders Mathison, Sports Editor

For many, this year is the last for organized sports. Seniors across the country are playing their last seasons of high school sports, hoping that they will conclude high school with some sense of normalcy. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

There has been a recent spike of Covid nationwide, specifically the Omicron strand of the virus. The Omicron strand is not as deleterious health wise, but it is very transmissible.

This strand of the virus has whittled its way into every corner of the country, and high school sports are no exception. 

Matthew Jordan, sophomore, stated that he has seen “many of his classes almost empty” and that “sports teams have a lot less people” as well. 

This is true. Attendance numbers are currently down a lot, which has a major impact on sports teams. 

The county health office, through contact tracing, has identified high school sports games as major transmission events. As a result, they passed a mandate that there can be no more than 50 people for indoor sporting events.

What does this mean for sports games? From now until February 11th, there will be less than ten spectators at all indoor sporting events. 

Teams are already depleted due to the recent spike, and these new mandates are further heightening the issue for players, parents, and fans.

Commenting on the lack of fans, Joseph Villureal, junior and member of the basketball team, stated that the “atmosphere was very weird. There were 6 parents in total, and it was pretty silent in the gym so we had to make our own noise.”

Villureal went on to say that the game “felt more like a scrimmage than a real league game.” Despite the odd atmosphere, the Dragons were able to dominate the Gauchos 57-39, taking them to 2nd in league play. 

The girls team faced similar issues, as Lexi Medeiros, sophomore, stated that with no fans, “the same feeling wasn’t there. We love playing in front of our home supporters, so when the gym was just empty, everything felt a little off.”

This affects many, but especially senior athletes playing in their last seasons. This is the last chance that seniors will have to play in front of their fans, parents, and peers. It is possibly the last time that many will play organized sports. 

For many, there will be no senior night. Senior athletes will have to walk out to empty bleachers, play in front of empty stands, and hear no cheers when they make baskets.