Winter sport athletes react to new COVID-19 regulations


Sydne Tolbert (9) dribbles past a Cental player during the homecoming game. Photo by Cesca Campisano.

Macy Waddle

On Thursday, November 19th, The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) voted to suspend the start of winter sports competitions until January 4th. Hours later JCPS announced that all winter sports activities, including small group workouts and practices, are suspended until December 14th. JCPS football teams, however, are allowed to continue practice and postseason play. 

Due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear issued new restrictions to mitigate the spread of the virus. Jefferson County is securely in the “red” zone, meaning that they are at least 25 cases per 100,000 people with the virus and the transmission of the virus is dangerously fast, which led the board to come to this decision.


Now, what does this mean for Manual winter athletes and coaches? Some are optimistic and looking to use this break to improve, but others feel deflated, like swim captain Maddie Beckley (12, J&C). 

“It’s upsetting, especially for seniors, because a delay almost feels like it’s just going to keep getting delayed and delayed until it’s completely canceled and I think a lot of us have lost hope and motivation for a season,” she said. Members of the team have still been participating in dryland “zoom” workouts during the break. 

Grant Stromquist (12, J&C) hopes the seniors receive some type of a “normal” senior ceremony. 

“Hopefully later in the season we will be able to do all the senior activities so me and the other seniors can get an appropriate farewell,” he said. 

Many think this was the right decision to make for everyone’s overall health. 

“I mean it’s understandable, they’re trying to bring the cases down as much as they can before we start contact again,” girls basketball player Sydne Tolbert (10, HSU) said. 

Although it’s his first season as a Manual Crimson, Damone King (9, HSU) agrees. 

“Honestly I wasn’t really looking forward to starting November 24th due to a lot of COVID-19 cases. It would be better if we started in January and go on shutdown now so everyone can stay safe,” he said. 

Athletes are also looking to use this time to improve, both individually and as a team. 

“I feel this break will only negatively impact those who choose not to take this time to better themselves,” girls basketball player Kennedy Lee (11, VA) said. “My team is full of determined and hardworking players who are going to take this ‘opportunity’ to better themselves, whether it be watching game film, conditioning, ball handling or getting some shots up.” 

Koji Anderson (11, HSU)  has been using this time to work individually so he will be ready to return when he’s able. 

“It’s disappointing but the wait shouldn’t be punishment, it’s preparation,” he said. 

The Executive Order also instructed all schools K-12 to hold virtual learning only. This means all JCPS schools will continue to do Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) until January 4, 2021, when JCPS officials will evaluate the data and talk with state health officials starting in the middle of December.