WINTER SPORTS VS. CORONA: ROUND TWO

Can PHS have a successful winter sports season, or will it be cut short by the COVID pandemic again?

Sophomores+Weston+Thomas+and+Drew+Valdez+engaged+in+a+wrestling+match+Nov.+12+during+open+mat.

Nathan Feller

Sophomores Weston Thomas and Drew Valdez engaged in a wrestling match Nov. 12 during open mat.

Just as the final leaves fall off the trees, the last competitions of the fall season have finally wrapped up. Looking back on one of the most unusual sports seasons to date, it was successful considering the circumstances.

 Now, as athletes transition from the fields to the courts and mats, coaches, fans and competitors alike hope the fortune that came with the fall season doesn’t migrate when winter comes.

With all sports moving indoors, the ability to social distance is slim to none; this could cause some issues when it comes to keeping a season alive. However, the girls’ swim season reached completion with very few complications regarding the Coronavirus, so perhaps the odds are decent for the basketball, wrestling, and boys’ swimming seasons.

We also have to have detailed practice plans so if there is any outbreak, we can show exactly who was exposed.”

— Mr. Mike Heny

“To start with, our whole schedule has been changed,” PHS wrestling head coach Mr. Nick Fulton said. “So we’ll have no more big tournaments; it’s an all-duel schedule until regionals and state.

“As far as practice goes we’re gonna go into a kind of pod system where we’ll have a group of three or four wrestle (exclusively) with each other each week; the goal there is to keep whole teams from getting quarantined. We’ll also be doing a lot more split-room [where] we’ll have guys running, in the weight room, and wrestling just so we can spread out a little more.”

Also coming up are the boys’ and girls’ basketball seasons. Panther basketball was the first sport to suffer last year when the state championship was cancelled with the pandemic’s arrival in Wyoming. There won’t be basketball tournaments this year either, and practices, just like wrestling, will look a lot different as well.

“The same players will be grouped together more and spaced out during individual work,” boys’ basketball head coach Mr. Mike Heny said. “Any scrimmage time must be limited to no more than ten minutes at a time. We also have to have detailed practice plans so if there is any outbreak, we can show exactly who was exposed.”