Maine’s highschool athletes pissed off as fall sports activities stay in limbo
There may be lots of angst amongst Maine highschool athletes concerned in fall sports activities packages.
That’s as a result of they’re nonetheless awaiting phrase on whether or not they are going to have a season.
The Maine Principals’ Affiliation proposed a return-to-play plan primarily based on prolonged analysis and communication with a number of completely different state and nationwide companies.
It listed a number of precautions and protocols to handle the COVID-19 pandemic and guarantee a secure surroundings for its fall student-athletes.
In response, the Maine Division of Well being and Human Companies and the Division of Training earlier this week stated a number of parts of the MPA’s return-to-play plan didn’t conform with a few of the state’s COVID-19 tips. Because of this, the beginning of the autumn season was pushed again one other week.
“We’re positively pissed off,” Bangor Excessive Faculty junior quarterback Max Clark stated. “Now we have put in lots of work. I’d hate to see it go to waste.”
Preseason tryouts for fall sports activities had been initially scheduled to start on Aug. 17 however then they had been pushed again to Sept. 8. Now, practices can’t start till Sept. 15 and the primary competitions can’t be held till Sept. 25 for all sports activities besides soccer, which has an Oct. 2 date for its first countable video games.
“It’s very irritating,” Brewer Excessive cross nation runner Olivia Mosca stated. “It’s my senior season and I’ve been trying ahead to this since my freshman yr.
“I feel we must always have had a solution by now,” she added.
Brewer Excessive senior soccer participant Brendan Saunders stated he and his teammates are nervous amid all of the uncertainty.
“It’s form of a scary time. We’re all hoping we will play but it surely has been getting worse and worse, so I don’t know if we can play,” Saunders stated.
He identified that sports activities are an necessary extension of the academic course of.
“Sports activities educate you nice life classes, whether or not you’re profitable or dropping,” Saunders stated. “We simply wish to get out and play.”
“I’ve tried to be very optimistic about having a season but it surely has been a rollercoaster, for positive,” Clark stated.
All three athletes perceive that the MPA, Gov. Janet Mills and all the opposite companies concerned are doing all the things they will to make sure the security of the student-athletes.
However all three strongly really feel that their sports activities may be carried out safely.
Soccer is taken into account a high-risk sport by the state and the MPA, whereas soccer is a moderate-risk sport and cross nation is low threat.
“It could positively be finished in a secure method,” Clark stated. “We’re going to faculty and there are rather a lot fewer college students taking part in soccer than going to highschool.”
Clark has been watching highschool soccer video games on tv from states with a lot larger COVID-19 charges akin to Alabama, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
“They’re in some sizzling spots whereas our county [Penobscot County] simply stayed ‘inexperienced’ at the moment [meaning students can attend classes in person five days a week],” Clark stated. “So it looks as if we must always have the ability to do it [safely].”
“I simply wish to be a part of a workforce once more and get on the market and have enjoyable collectively,” Saunders stated.
One of the irritating elements for the athletes has been not figuring out what’s going to occur.
“I’m uninterested in getting combined solutions for each query I’ve,” Mosca stated. “I do know security is the primary precedence and, on the finish of the day, I’ll do no matter I can to compete.
“I like operating and the competitors a lot. It’s my favourite factor to do,” she stated.
If sports activities are performed this fall, the entire seasons shall be shortened. They probably will spill into some mid-November dates, which might imply a chilly evening on the gridiron.
“I’ll put on three sweatshirts and two winter jackets,” Clark stated. “I don’t care who we play or after we play.
“I simply wish to play.”