Morton sports affected by COVID-19 pandemic

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Angie Gomez, Andrik Gayton, Victor Quezada Christian Lezama Cardoso

All sports above are related to the people I interviewed for this article.

Christian Lezama Cardoso, Reporter

Morton East students’ sports seasons have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to disrupt athletes’ participation in school sports and has caused students to have insecurities and shattered dreams of what could’ve been their last year with their teammates. 

According to Healthychildren.org, currently, in the world, all school sports are being debated if they should start this year due to the worldwide pandemic. There are several sports that can be allowed to open if they follow the health guidelines set by the health department and guidelines set by the IHSA.  However, each school board also makes its own decisions regarding safety and participation.  Recently there have been sports being allowed to start this school year at Morton such as track, baseball, and tennis.  Governor Pritzker recommended postponing high-risk sports including football, basketball, and wrestling until the pandemic is under control.

In a random survey of  50 Morton East students, 32 students reported that COVID-19 has affected their school sports.

“It’s affecting my season (Girls xc) in a way that I can not imagine. We went from racing 10 to 15 races to the max of 5. It made us struggle to improve our times and improve our competition. It is also affecting our conference that usually has over 200 girls at one course and it now must be cut down to everyone run at your own course and submit times and just hope for the best. It is hard to run by yourself especially if your racing so this new way of (competing in) conference will truly be a difficult thing. We are no longer racing others, instead, we are racing ourselves and I believe that’s the greatest struggle of all,” track runner Angie Gomez said.

Another student feels conflicted as well with being their last year and the challenges they will have to face.

“I think it’s affecting the athletes that are in their final year the most because they want to end with a bang, but can’t because of covid. Covid affected my sport of tennis the most because we didn’t even get to start the 2020 season,” tennis player Victor Quezada said.

Tennis and cross-country have some social distance, but what about those that are required to do physical contact?

“Since I participate in wrestling, I have found it to be very worrisome as it is a very hands-on sport with other people at close proximity,” wrestler player Andrik Gayton said.

Not only students are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but also teachers who dedicate their time and effort to coach these teams to victory are being affected as well.

“As a coach, COVID has affected our sport here at Morton from the very beginning. We were not able to finish our try-out process; thus we technically do not have a team this year. Our season has been pushed back and our athletes are left feeling almost abandoned or how we say, “ghosted.” However, we have also adjusted with keeping last year’s team motivated by offering workouts via zoom and athletic opportunities in (CDC approved) small groups. It has been disheartening but overall hopeful–showing us how ‘Stang pride never dies,” Coach of the Poms Ms. Ritz said.