Spring Sports Handling COVID-19

AROUND THE NEK – With the return of spring sports this year, the Vermont Principals Association made it clear that teams will have to follow strict guidelines in order for everyone to have successful season.

                 The VPA before the season started made two things very clear, all players, coaches, and officials will be wearing a mask at all times during the course of a game. And players, and coaches must be spread out amongst each other while in the dugout or on the sidelines. Teams must follow these guidelines during the games in order to be able to have a full season that was determined prior to the seasons start. Since losing a full year of spring sports most players and coaches were willing to do whatever it took to have a spring season, Chris Carr, the head coach of the Lyndon Institute Vikings varsity softball team stated “You know they were ready to go since day one, even in tryouts, after missing last year they just want to play some ball.” followed with “…it’s like second nature everybody’s used to it, they know they have to wear them, you want to play ball you’re going to have to wear your mask.”

Dick Wright the head coach of Rutland’s varsity softball team since 1993 said that he has never seen or experienced anything like this in his 28 years of coaching…”No, no nothing like this at all, in terms of every day in practice having the players check in, temperatures taken, and when practice is over having to clean the equipment.” But Wright explains that his players have had no complaints, “they have no complaints they wear their masks, I haven’t had to ask anybody to pull their masks up and right after practice and the games they all jump up and start wiping down the equipment.” With every positive reaction there are of course negative reactions. Paul Remnick the Danville varsity softball head coach says “None of us like to wear the masks, but it’s a rule. Hopefully they’ll change it pretty quick, and it’s tough I’ll tell you…breathing through these things when I’m hitting infield, outfield, I’m dying.”

All in all, the consensus amongst the North East Kingdom teams seems to be that they are willing to do whatever it takes to be able to compete and play this spring. Thus far there has been no issues in regards to following the correct procedures that were put in place, and everyone is hoping that it stays that way. Blue Mountain varsity baseball head coach, Scott Blood explained “It’s actually not as tough as I thought it would be, it’s not ideal, but the kids are so hungry to play and be active, and be together that we are certainly willing to sacrifice having to wear a mask, to be able to do just that.”