Despite challenges and uncertainties concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, Eastern Christian High School has had a successful fall sports season.
This fall, Eastern Christian sports teams participated in a heavily modified sports season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Whilst Volleyball was unable to have a season this fall, cross country and soccer were able to continue with modification.
The schedule for fall sports was much different than what it normally would be. The number of competitions was limited, and the season was condensed to a shorter period of time.
Mr. Veenstra, the Eastern Christian Athletics Director, explained that “we had a lot of independent games scheduled, those are games outside of our league schedule, that we had to either rearrange or just eliminate.”
Cross country coach, Mr. Bailey, said that, “I think a lot of the changes to the schedule were difficult for our previous athletes to get a grip on, just because … it was rewriting the typical rhythm for how fall sports went”
Along with these changes to the schedule, the sports teams had to make other changes to protocol.
Mr. Veenstra also noted that, “We also had events planned like community nights, homecoming, night games, to attract crowds and build community and all the things we’ve done in the past, and were unable to [do]”
Along with scheduling and lack of spectator-driven events, there were numerous other challenges that this fall sports season presented. New guidelines such as requirements for when to where masks, and how to best ensure that athletes would not unknowingly spread the virus to their teammates had to be followed. Equipment, like non-contact thermometers, had to be purchased.
Perhaps the most difficult challenge to overcome was transportation. Getting athletes to their events is difficult because it takes a lot of space to social distance effectively on a bus. Furthermore, buses don't have very good ventilation, and the windows must be kept open.
Despite these challenges, the season seems to have gone as well as it possibly could have.
Mr. Bailey said, “It honestly went way better than I expected”
Mr. Veenstra agreed, saying the season went, “Incredibly well, best case scenario as far as I’m concerned.”
It also seems like the athletes took the new changes in stride, Mr Veenstra said, “I thought our athletes cooperated wonderfully, and followed protocol and made it happen,”