Staff Photo by Chris Ottaviano
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, and day by day the world returns to normalcy, one previously-canceled activity has returned. All levels of sports, from high school to professional, have made a comeback and athletes at Wakefield High School have begun training once again. Currently, the cross-county, volleyball and dance teams have all started practicing again.
But in 2020, sports practices will look different. Masks are mandatory during non-exercise times and players are required to social distance as much as they can while practicing.
“[This year] we have done a good job distancing, not sharing water, and not being in any confined spaces,” said cross country coach Joe Turchetti “XC has the advantage over other sports because we are outside and don’t have any equipment that needs to be shared and continually sanitized.”
Having a shortened practice period might lead one to wonder if teams aren’t performing at the caliber they usually would at this time of year, but this is not the case.
“I haven’t noticed much of a difference, and I credit that to our coach,” cross country team captain Nate Viele said. “When the pandemic hit and it was clear that our season would be impacted, he suggested that we each get out and run on our own. So most of our runners had a solid base to start with before coming to the first practice.”
Before the county allowed certain sports to begin practicing, teams such as the dance team began to do virtual practice sessions to sharpen their skills.
“It was definitely different practicing over a computer,” captain Anna Narducci said. “Getting to go back to the school has been good for all of us. We always wear our masks, which is different but we all adjust if it means getting to dance together.”
As other teams such as the swim team plan on returning soon, they’re making sure to follow COVID-19 protocols to preserve their privileges in keeping high school sports active.
“It is vitally important for us as a team, because of COVID-19 and the dangers it still presents, to be extremely strict about protocols to keep us all safe and healthy,” said Cynthia Terrell, coach of the women’s volleyball team.
With new sports seasons filled with masks and social distancing, there’s no question that the 2020-2021 athletic year will look very different from years prior and we wish nothing but the best for our Wolverines on the field.