Guest Contributor: Hannah Arrington
The E&H Athletic Departments have been following guidelines given from the National Collegiate Athletic Association for a safe return to sports.
After a two week suspension of sports due to an outbreak in COVID-19 cases on campus, athletic practices have gradually resumed with guidelines designed to keep athletes safe.
Melissa Davis, the Head Athletic Trainer, said, “For the first week, which was last week, they could do 60% intensity and only three days of practice. As the weeks progress, they will gradually increase the intensity and amount of days until Thanksgiving break.” The slow return to full intensity is to prevent injury after a longer off season than normal after campus shut down in the middle of the spring season.
Curt Newsome, the Head Football Coach at E&H, said, “The football team had to be introduced in phases. There was a period where none of the team could have contact until 25% of them were tested.”
Football team meetings have also been in smaller groups to maintain social distancing.
Before athletes can even practice, each athlete is required to check their temperature and receive a green check on the daily self-check sent out to each student every morning.
During all practices and training sessions, all athletes have to wear masks and maintain social distancing. There are no exceptions to this rule, as it is put in place to keep the coaches and students safe. “I feel pretty good about what we have in place,” Davis said. So far, there have been no issues with students following the guidelines.
Ashlee Jordan, a midfielder in the women’s soccer team, talks about how practice is different on the soccer field, “being a contact sport, practice has changed a little bit for us. We are only allowed to do passing and shooting, which slows the pace down a bit.”
Though many of the teams are struggling with the inability to come together during team meetings and to work together as a team due to social distancing requirements, they are all working to maintain the safety requirements in order to be able to compete in the spring.