Student-athletes cope with changes in their season during COVID-19

Bella Maish, Reporter

The new rules for PIAA sports raise mixed emotions between athletes and administrators at Hershey High School for the 2020 fall season.

After a lengthy evaluation of whether sports should or should not proceed in the fall, PIAA votes in favor of welcoming back athletes with regulations on August 24th.

Restrictions follow the new green light and spark opinions among administrators and athletes.

Most common restrictions include consistent screenings, social distancing, permitted yet limited spectators, and face coverings at all times.

Although all sports have had their downsides with COVID-19, football has been the hardest to follow the guidelines.

Athletic director Scott Govern comments on the struggle, “Each sport has their unique challenges, but football is the most challenging. You are constantly in physical contact with individuals from other schools.”

Daniel Still, a football player at Hershey High School, believes that social distancing in a contact sport is nearly impossible to follow. Still has played football for nine years and has not experienced a season like this yet.

Still explained frustration with the shortage of games and believed his sport could have started sooner. 

The game shortage has also affected indoor sports, such as volleyball.

Ava Sheppard, a volleyball player at Hershey High School, has been playing Volleyball since seventh grade. She showed similar frustration with the issue.

Sheppard explains, “I was looking forward to having many games, but the season was shortened. We normally would play 18, but we are playing 10.” 

Spectators have also been limited for indoor and outdoor sports. For volleyball, the PIAA permits two spectators per player.

Sheppard explains how the spectator rule has been the most significant change to her season.

The fall COVID-19 season is a stamp in history for every student-athlete. The winter and spring seasons are unknown; however, they are underway with an unpredicted future.