Bumps on the Return to Play
When the NJSIAA announced its “return to play” plans last month for high school sports I think most of us expected that there would be bumps in the road. Now that we’ve hit some of those bumps the question is how will we proceed.
You just had to believe that when you put a significant number of athletes together there would be a pretty good chance that COVID concerns would come into play and they have. There are several Shore Conference schools now dealing with issues over positive test results in student-athletes, at least one of which has shut down a football program for two weeks.
I know those who were against the return of high school sports will immediately pound their chests and proclaim “I told you so.” These prophets of doom and gloom should take a step back.
To my knowledge we do not have situations where a large number of football or soccer players have indeed tested positive or gotten sick. It seems it’s more of a case where an individual or two had positive tests and out of caution others that might have come in contact with them have been put on the shelf for the state-mandated 14 day period. Safety first, sports second.
Just yesterday the Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest game scheduled for this Saturday was postponed because the Fighting Irish have placed 13 players in isolation, with 10 in quarantine. Of course in college football they are testing on a regular basis and that is not the case when it comes to high school sports.
I guess my point is this. We are going to have issues and problems with trying to play high school sports and that’s to be expected. However after watching kids go without a spring season the consensus was any type of fall campaign would be better than none at all. So instead of saying “I told you so” when we hear of a problem with a school athletic program how about “can we work around it in a safe manner.”
The definition of success this fall may not be wins and losses but how many games you got to play.