Sports in the Time of COVID-19

Sports+in+the+Time+of+COVID-19

Lauryn Turner, Falcon Post Staff

       When the 2020 spring sports season was suspended, the Class of 2020 was left disappointed and unsure if they would compete at the high school level again. Now, the current seniors are in the same position as we approach the upcoming season. In late July, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) released a schedule showing big changes to the athletics calendar. Basketball and soccer will resume on their normal schedule while lacrosse and football will be played in January and February.

       This season, Jordan High School has a new football coach, Justin Allred. Not only is he coaching at a new school with new players, but he is also faced with unprecedented challenges. Allred emphasized the “unique environment” he and his players will be thrown into this season. The first-year head coach shared his thoughts on playing football in February. “It’s not ideal but I’m pleased we’re getting a chance to play this year,” Allred said. During this time of uncertainty, Coach Allred believes patience is important. “We can’t rush into things like this,” he said. Allred’s expectations for this upcoming season include shifting the original culture of Jordan football and finding the new role of the football team in the Jordan community. “It’s important to focus on the things we can control,” Allred said. In this new virtual environment, the first-year head coach is working to stay connected with his players. “We hold team meetings every other Wednesday to go over different game plans and then on the off weeks we’ll [participate in] team bonding,” Alfred said. Coach Allred believes that being available for his players is extremely important during these dark times.

       Three senior athletes also shared their expectations and goals for the upcoming season. Nia Howard, a captain on the women’s basketball team and a UNC Greensboro commit, is focused on competing in the state championship during her final season as a Jordan Falcon. “It will take longer for the team to get into a good rhythm because we can’t all work out together,” said Howard. Despite setbacks, Howard said having a preseason gives the team time to mold together. However, with the start of athletics in November and virtual learning continuing until January, teams are given even less time to prepare in-person.

       Tianna Hill is currently a member of the varsity women’s soccer team and has been a part of the team since her freshman year. After a 5-0 win in spring of 2020, the team was determined to continue their run. “A lot of teams tend to underestimate Jordan, so for us to finally win some games gave us confidence,” Hill said. Hill hopes the team can transfer that energy and determination from last year into this year’s season. Her major goal is to win games but also to be a leader and have a positive impact on her team. Like Howard, Hill is looking to compete in the state tournament. Hill emphasized that she wants to make the most of her last year of high school soccer.

       Ryan Reed is a Guilford College commit on the Jordan lacrosse team. He has set his expectations high and hopes to play in the conference championship. When asked about his thoughts on playing lacrosse in January, Ryan said he doesn’t agree with the NCHSAA’s decision. “It will only make it harder on schools and players when lacrosse could have easily been moved to late spring,” he said. Ryan also hopes the team will get the chance to play in the Battle for I-40 against East Chapel Hill.

       This year has been full of uncertainty and disappointment. “Who knows what things will look like,” Coach Allred said. During these unparalleled times, staying positive and ready for what comes next is crucial. The Class of 2021 has high hopes for the upcoming season and is looking forward to the possibility to play one last time in a Jordan Falcons uniform.