School Sports: How Has This Changed Since COVID-19?

Written By Jada Murry

Imagine yourself on a Friday night, with friends, sitting up in the stands waiting for the cheerleaders to run out onto the field bringing the football players out, not far behind. At first the Panthers are losing and then we come back right after halftime ,we’re now in the lead by 20 points and it’s looking like we’re going to win. Then one of our many star players wins the game with a touchdown giving us six more points. The parents in the stand start chanting along with the cheerleaders, as the fight song goes off and the football team runs off the field with excitement.

That is the experience of a high school football game. “High school sports are a part of our school’s history, rather it’s a win in a tournament or a record in a championship” said PRP alumnus James Murry. He was a former Pleasure Ridge Park student athlete. He was a really good basketball player during the time he attended PRP high school.

Sports are a motivation for many student athletes, sports are a way to keep student grades up because they want to play. Without good grades you can’t participate in those sports. Information shows that since students have been off the field, their grades have started to drop tremendously. Student athletes’ grades tended to be better before non-traditional instruction (NTI) because in order to participate in sports you have to meet the grade requirements. So the question is how have school sports changed with the impact of Covid?

Since Covid-19 sports have been off and on. Most people are scared to participate or even leave the house because of virus concerns. School sports bring excitement to any and everyone, whether it’s a coach, athlete, family member, friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, and even people scouting out players. Sports play a big role to a student athlete and mean a lot. Student athletes may sometimes struggle in school and need sports in order to make it, I mean that is the stereotype for an athlete right? Unless you are an athlete, parent or coach you may not ever understand the full importance of sports. It isn’t always just about enjoyment they bring, school sports is a lifestyle to many.

The experience of being at a game or sporting event has most definitely changed since the pandemic, “Our crowds were packed, so packed at times there wasn’t even room from everyone in the bleachers” said PRP alumnus James Murry. I asked the question “How is the experience of a football game during Covid different from a game that may have taken place before ?” In response he said “There are not as many people because of restrictions, smaller crowds and it’s more spread out from everyone trying their best to social distance.” This was when he had the chance to attend a couple of high school football games during our current pandemic.

It’s safe to say the only thing that will ever make everything go back to normal is when the pandemic and Corona is no longer a thing! “I hope after Covid-19 and quarantine our high school experience will become somewhat normal” said PRP student Asia Solan. We, as a PRP community, need our sports back to normal. Sports are a part of our Panther Pride and Covid is making this very hard to be successful.

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