Although COVID-19 has caused many groups to postpone their activities or cancel them altogether, the staff at Cleveland High School has worked incredibly hard to ensure that students have some form of a fall season.
Each of the sports teams began voluntary practices back in August, whereas the marching band started their season in mid-September. Practices being voluntary allows for high-risk students or family members to choose if they feel safe around others.
The marching band and fall sports teams are doing well by keeping with COVID-19 safety precautions, participating in health screenings and social distancing guidelines every practice.
Gianna Kwiatkowski, a member of the Cleveland Arts Performance Ensemble, said, “We’ve had shortened rehearsals with groups of no more than 20 kids social distancing and wearing masks.”
The fall marching band season has changed greatly, with no competitions to prepare for or an opportunity to perform as normal.
Rather than marching drill on a field, band students are stationary, working on horn carriage, posture, and basic marching technique.
In terms of athletics, contact sports such as soccer and football are suffering from the most changes. Practices have become more limited with what is possible, so many teams are resorting to conditioning during practice to achieve productivity.
Women’s golf on the other hand has stayed relatively the same since the pandemic began. Since golf is socially distanced already, the only changes regard touching flags and riding in golf carts.
“Due to the need for six feet social distancing, riding in a cart with someone you are not around a lot is not advised. Due to this we each usually have to split up and ride separately,” Crystal Robertson said.
Women’s tennis practices have not changed much either. Aside from staying six feet apart and everyone bringing their own tennis balls, practices have been able to run as normal.
Cross-country is another sport that has been continuing much like it used to, with only a few restrictions like the golf and tennis teams. Prior to the pandemic, the cross-country team met five days a week, which has since been switched to three.
Victoria Bowman said, “Pre-covid we did full team activities and we can’t anymore. We also had to split the team to practice for a few weeks due to number restrictions.”
Although teams are resuming practice differently, the main goal of each sport’s practice is to condition and build up skills to prepare for the competitive season starting next winter.
Due to the fall season being moved to the winter, both the fall and winter seasons will be shortened, causing some students to participate in both, while others will have to choose one if the seasons end up overlapping.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic uprooting the lives of many and causing activities everywhere to change, the Cleveland High School fall sports teams and marching band have not let this deter them. Groups will continue to practice and improve until their competitive season begins.