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In December 2019, we had a major outbreak of a deadly disease called the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus is a deadly virus where it infects your respiratory system; the symptoms include cough, fever, or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle aches and a sore throat. Also known as Covid-19, it can be dreadful and can cause death. On March 2, 2020 the virus hit Bergen County New Jersey, with this happening it forced Governor Phil Murphy to shut down the state. This meant that there were no school, no sports, and people working from home because we had to quarantine. This was a devastating time because many athletes lost their basketball, baseball, wrestling, and winter track seasons. A great deal of high school seniors and college seniors were upset since they couldn’t play, and it was their last seasonIt wasn’t just the seniors who were upset. Atlantic City boys' basketball won the sectional title, but couldn’t play in the states final because of Covid-19. 

On October 12, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order to let resume indoor sports immediately. hockey, basketball, cheerleading, group dance, rugby, boxing, judo, karate, and wrestling will be able to have their seasons but with a limited capacity. The pandemic has made it very difficult for the athletes to have a season so they must take precautions by wearing mask, washing their hands, and having limited people inside; you can only have 25 people in a room. The infection student weightliftingnumbers are still going up a moderate amount. There will be screenings for athletes, coaches, and staff, limitations on equipment sharing, and requirements for disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces and equipment. Many students can’t afford to go to college even when they have a job and start saving early; not having an opportunity to earn scholarships through athletics can be devastating to some.

With Governor Phil Murphy allowing indoor sports athletes get a better chance of getting a scholarship and are able to chase their dreams. Numerous athletes go to college in hopes of being able to declare for the draft the following year, but since athletes didn’t have a season last year, they weren’t able to get scouted for their sport. This will be the first time with no fans in history. Since there will be limited fans this year this could l affect the game positively and detrimentally. One reason this will affect the game in a detrimental way is because the players have no energy to feed off but the positive thing that comes out of it is that there having a season and is able to entertain people. 

Hopefully, allowing indoor sports will give these athletes an opportunity to show their talent and earn scholarships or take their game to the next level.

 

Photo Credit: Carlvin Altidor shared this photo of Mawali Osunniyi working out to prepare fo the upcoming basketball season at Mainland Regional High School.

 

The Mainland Mustangs Baseball team is definitely a team to keep your eye on in the spring of 2021. Last year, the Mustangs were excited to head down to the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, FL to open their season. Unfortunately, this was one of the several things halted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Along with this trip, the 2020 season came to a close before it was even started. Seniors never got to play their last game of baseball before leaving high school, and many other players were left disappointed.  

The 2019 season was also cut short after a first-round playoff exit to Absegami in what was a great game and heartbreaking loss. The Mustangs played a hard fought, low scoring game and ended up losing by only one run. The 2019 team surely had State Championship talent, however, that run was sadly cut short due to a first-round exit.  

In 2021, expect the Mainland Mustangs to be a hungry team. The team features 12 returning varsity players, which is a talented group seniors and juniors. The Mustangs feature MRHS baseball playerssenior pitcher Chase Petty, who is committed to play baseball at The University of Florida. His fastball has reached 100 MPH, being the hardest fastball by any high schooler in the country! Look for Chase Petty to definitely make some noise. Not only do the Mustangs have Petty, the senior class is filled with much more talent, as is the Junior class. Look for new names to emerge as the season approaches.  

The Mustangs play in the Cape-Atlantic League. They were given a mini season in “The Last Dance” tournament that took place this past July. This was a private tournament, where teams were not allowed to have any affiliation with the high school and were not allowed to have the high school coaches coach the team. The Mustangs went 2-1 and did not advance into the playoffs. 

All of these reasons and more are why YOU should keep an eye out for Mainland Baseball’s 2021 season, coming this spring.

 

Photo provided by: John Wood

With many schools continue to do sports with the coronavirus still raging across the country, many players and coaches must follow many safety measures to make sure everybody involved is safe during what is a very difficult time for sports in general. 

 Parents wondering if it is safe for their child worry how things are going to be handled and what they should do to keep their child from getting sick. Schools have required to do temperature checks at home and on school grounds to help detect whether a player has contracted Covid or not. If so, they will have to quarantine for two weeks to make sure the infection does not spread. Players and staff are required to wear masks off the field, practice social distancing, and increase cleanliness of equipment. There also must be staggered and coordinated arrivals and departures between the two teams. Because this safety measures are put in place, infection rates have been reported to not increase due to school sports for the general population following these procedures 

As you can imagine, all of the high contact sports will have a greater risk of having higher coronavirus infection rates. These sports include football, basketball, wrestling, etc. Coach takes temperature of athleteThings like golf will not have a problem moving forward but studies have shown that just because a sport isn’t a high contact sport, it doesn’t mean a player or staff member has a low chance of getting the virus, they just have a lowered chance to contract Covid-19.  

Many other methods of preventing the spread of Covid-19 exist but if a player does contract Covid, it would be best if they isolate themselves immediately. Coronavirus causes a high fever, cough, pain or pressure in the chest, shortness in breath, and fatigue. Luckily, young athletes handle the virus a lot better than adults do. The best thing a parent can do in a situation like this is to make sure their child is getting enough exercise at home, along with encouraging them to try and do everything they can to stay home. Doing everything virtual is key. If a student must, they should follow social distancing and try to keep safe as much as possible. Isolation can be an easy thing to experience during a time like this, so students should contact their friends through online platforms. These ways of prevention will help the spread of Covid-19 and keep everyone healthy. 

For parents, keeping positive is the absolute number one thing to do. It is easy for a student to get into depressive slumps with the amount of isolation that is imposed on them. Helping them by encouraging to keep at it, making sure that they are practicing social distancing and keeping safe will help them get through this. Things may not be back to normal for a while, but with the measures that are in place, rest assured thing will go back to normal in no time. 

 

Image sourced: 

https://www.umms.org/ummc/coronavirus/covid-questions/sports  

 

Other research for this article:

https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/local_schools/uw-study-high-school-sports-have-not-spread-the-covid-19-coronavirus/article_3b04400a-7651-50df-a2ff-01a71bf4db65.html