Wakefield basketball weathers the COVID-19 storm

Sophomore Hayden Doebler fights through the Knightdale defense.

Chris Ottaviano, Sports Editor

With the beginning of high school sports looking very different this year, our men’s and women’s basketball teams have been no exception to COVID-19 setbacks. Both teams were accosted with a two-week quarantine at the beginning of their seasons due to players being exposed to COVID-19. 

“Quarantine significantly shortened our season,” said Carson Cryer, a junior on the men’s varsity team. “We went from having [more than] 24 games to only 14.”

As for precautions in a sport where players are constantly in close contact with each other, there are plenty. Rule changes are significantly changing the game. 

“We have to wear masks while we play, that’s probably the biggest change,” said senior Amirah Allen of the women’s varsity team. “There’s no jump ball, the away team gets the ball first and there’s no high fiving after the game.”

As for training, the basketball teams are trying to make up for not being able to train prior to the season. With workouts usually beginning in the summer, lots of crucial time for development was lost.

“The lack of summer and fall workouts has hurt us as well as the weight room being closed,” said Garrett Stevens, head coach of the men’s varsity team. “We are very young this year with 1 senior, 7 juniors, and 5 sophomores so we lost time to improve their skills, get stronger, and develop team chemistry.”

Despite major setbacks, the likes of which the world of sports has never seen before, Wakefield men’s and women’s basketball teams have risen to the occasion, sporting positive records to start the season.

“More than anything we are happy to be back on the court and around our team,” said Stevens. “We have started out 4-2 (3-1 in conference) and with us being so young we didn’t know what to expect.”

Though both teams have faced plenty of adversity, Stevens remains grateful for being able to play and optimistic for their future 

“I think we have a chance to be very successful and have been pleased with the guys’ work ethic and effort each day,” Stevens said.

Junior, Jaxon Brown prepares to recieve a pass. (Photo courtesy of Emma Stewart)
Sophomore Hayden Doebler fights through the Knightdale defense. (Photo courtesy of Emma Stewart)
Sophomore point guard, Elijah Preddy shoots over a Knightdale player. (Photo courtesy of Emma Stewart)