COVID-19 Affects Boys Swim Team, Fall Sports

While+the+North+swim+team+practices+for+their+Sept.+14+meet%2C+the+swimmers+are+usually+at+least+four+feet+away+from+each+other.+Once+in+the+pool%2C+there+is+very+little+danger+of+the+virus+spreading+from+person+to+person.+A+virus+needs+a+host+to+live+on%2C+and+with+the+chlorine+killing+most+possible+hosts+to+the+virus%2C+it+will+simply+die+in+the+pool.

While the North swim team practices for their Sept. 14 meet, the swimmers are usually at least four feet away from each other. Once in the pool, there is very little danger of the virus spreading from person to person. A virus needs a host to live on, and with the chlorine killing most possible hosts to the virus, it will simply die in the pool.

Noah Sentnor, Staff Writer

On Sept. 9, Sam Page, in accordance with St. Louis County, announced that high contact fall sports will be prohibited from playing games, having scrimmages and holding showcases. This means that fall seasons for sports like soccer and football have officially been cancelled, or at least postponed until the ruling changes. However low-contact sports, like boys swimming, are starting their season.
“[Practices] really haven’t changed,” said boys head swim coach Bart Prosser. “We get in the water, we have a warm up set, then there is usually a kick set and then we have our main set… where [the athletes] go roughly four miles.”
Swimming is considered a low contact sport, which means they are allowed to compete in competitions within their region. The North boys swim team’s first swim meet is Sept. 14, 2020 at Parkway Central High School, but no fans are allowed.
“I think the practices are harder [this year], but that might be because I was out of the water for so long,” said junior Carson Lorenz, a member of the boys varsity swim team.
With the global pandemic going on, most youth sports were not able to compete at all this summer. Lorenz usually participates with two different swim teams over the summer, but both were cancelled.
“I didn’t have access to a pool [over the summer], so I just started running,” said Lorenz.
Although the practices themselves are similar to most other years, there are still major changes in 2020.
“If you were to look at the last couple years, by this time, [the athletes] would have already been in [competitive] shape and we would have had a couple of meets already,” Prosser said.
Prosser is worried that the lack of competition will cause the focus and intensity of the athletes to stray.
Even though swimming is considered low contact, they still have strict COVID-19 guidelines to follow. According to Prosser, the team has done an excellent job adhering to them. This year, the varsity team has only eight kids, and with a six lane pool, it is very easy to social distance.
“We start kids at separate ends of the pool, we make sure they are far enough apart in their lanes and we disinfect all the equipment at the end of each practice,” Prosser said.
Outside of the water, the athletes practice social distancing and wear masks. Swimmers are not allowed to use the locker room, so they have to come in their suits ready to swim. Before each practice, athletes are asked a series of questions related to their temperature, how they feel and other questions related to COVID-19.
2020 has been a hectic year, and the sports world is no exception. At North, the cancellation of fall sports seems to be just the beginning, but the boys swim team will have a chance to compete.