The Impact of COVID-19

Basketball Season


Boys Basketball team warming up with free throws on November 17 spaced out from each other to maintain COVID-19 safety rules.

Alexis Dorsett, JP student writer

North Polk basketball and cheer teams are using going COVID-19 safety regulations to stay safe and facing the reality that there is a possibility of the season being postponed.

Currently the COVID-19 positivity rate in Polk County is above 20 percent, so many schools are going to virtual learning to attempt to lower the positive cases and keep their students safe. In addition, school sports are not allowed when school is being held virtually. Whereas, our school board is currently going to try virtual learning for a week after Thanksgiving break to be able to experience virtual learning before the school will actually need it. 

If the North Polk School District decides to go virtual boys basketball assistant coach, Dennis Johnson, stated “I would assume that if we would have to go to 100 percent virtual we would not have activities because schools are trying to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

To attempt to prevent having to go remote learning coaches for  both basketball cheer and basketball are requiring their athletes to wear masks during practice. Basketball cheer coach, Kate Rutledge, reasoned that she requires masks by stating “due to the new mask regulations that the governor put in place and I want to keep all my athletes in school.” 

Masks were only part of the new changes coaches had to make to their practice schedules. The girl’s basketball coach, Clint Albertsen, shared “during drill work we are making sure we have small groups as possible and as far away as possible, some drills we might do for less time so we are not doing them for long periods and take a break and move apart for a little bit.” The boys basketball team practices will be different by “ wearing a mask, social distancing during water breaks, bringing your [athletes] own water bottles, and using the full gym to maintain distance when coaching” stated by Johnson. 

Although athletes are being required to wear masks at all times during practice, girls and boys basketball players will not be required to wear masks while playing in a game. However, when an athlete is not participating in the game they will be required to wear a mask at all times. The cheerleaders also will not be required to wear face masks while cheering on the sidelines. They will be required to wear masks while stunting because they will be in close contact with each other. When it comes to away games Rutledge has to confirm that cheerleaders are allowed this season due to COVID-19 and both basketball players and cheerleaders have to follow the opposing team’s school safety rules. 

Girls Basketball team running warm up laps on November 17 in small groups wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Although there are many new changes to this coming basketball season they are all put in place to keep athletes healthy and to be able to continue their seasons. Rutledge stated what many people are thinking which is “I just wish COVID-19 would go away, so we can have a normal season, normal school, normal lives.”

Due to recent COVID-19 precautions, basketball cheerleaders will not be cheering at games until positive COVID-19 cases decrease and the student section will be allowed to watch basketball games as well.