Winter sports are not worth endangering students


Tyler Blandin

An empty gym sits in anticipation of the varsity wrestling team entering the gym.

Winter sports will be having a season this year despite Arizona being number one in rising COVID-19 cases. This puts many of the players at risk and could easily result in a coronavirus outbreak coming to Perry. 

Sports are non-essential to education and with CUSD repeatedly transitioning between offline and online the winter season is an unnecessary danger. Schools should prioritize staying open by getting rid of unnecessary risks like sports.

All of Perry’s winter sports are contact heavy and would be almost impossible to play safely. Wrestling is particularly dangerous as it involves grabbing opponents and slamming them on to sweat filled mats. While wrestlers will be wearing masks during meets, there is only so much a mask can do when wrestlers are on top of each other. 

Soccer is also surprisingly heavy on contact, with players getting up close and personal going after the ball. It is also possible that players will not follow regulations on the sidelines, sharing waters or refusing to wear masks while catching their breath. While probably the safest of the winter sports it is still a major risk.

Basketball is a risk as well, with the ball changing hands so much, all it takes for a transmission would be for a player to rub their eyes after the match. Something as simple as a player touching their face after a game could result in a chain of transmissions at the school, forcing Perry online again. Online schooling simply does not work for some students and it would be unfair to force them into suffering academically for the sake of a winter season.

The integrity of the winter season could also be compromised by COVID, as some teams may have to forfeit matches because of an outbreak. The competitive nature of the season would be ruined as it would not be the best teams winning anymore, it would be constant ties or losses without play because a team got quarantined.

Many have argued that cancelling the season could result in a loss of important scholarships and scouting opportunities for players, but the academics need their time too. Athletes are a relatively small part of the student body, and putting everyone back online could drop the grades and possibly even drop scores on important tests like the ACT and SAT because of difficulties with online learning. Teaching online also results in higher rates of cheating and skipping class, as students can simply tell their teacher their webcam is not working and ditch class.

Putting the athletes first puts the community in danger, and it is simply unfair to put the needs of a smaller part of the student population ahead of so many others with so much at stake.