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WHS Sports are Back! Athletes Return to Campus Following a Difficult Sportsless year

By Breanna D.

The Wilson HS football field will no longer sit idle.

Image Credited to: Breanna D.

The day all high school athletes have been waiting for has finally come! Sports have come back to us! While staying safe and taking COVID-19 precautions, practices for all Wilson Spring sports have started again. Because of this, many students are now reconnected to social opportunities, giving them an opportunity that may help them relieve the stress that school and being home all day causes, and so much more.

Sports are known to be an important outlet for high school students, but when the COVID-19 pandemic started, high school sports were cancelled and that connection was severed. That severance impacted Wilson athletes in an unfortunately negative way. Not only did it have an obvious physical impact, but it had a severe mental impact as well. The number of students that are depressed or have anxiety increased dramatically during quarantine and the school closures. I believe that the cancellation of school sports played a huge part in why that number increased after quarantine began. School Sports were an outlet for students to get away from personal problems, socialize with people their age, and enjoy themselves. After that outlet was no longer available, students no longer had the hobby that gave them a sense of clarity and opportunity.

Last February, I interviewed a Wilson athlete about how she felt about the cancellation of the 2021 sports season and how it has impacted her. Leanna Mata has been part of the Varsity Cheer Team for three years. She explained to me that being part of a team was really important to her because it gave her “a second family” that she felt she could always go to outside of home. She claims that being a part of a sports team at Wilson is a highlight of any student’s high school experience. “When I recollect my high school experience, a lot of those memories were with my team,” she recalled. I asked her if the cancellation of sports this year affected her and she went on to say, “I feel that it had an effect not only on myself but on anyone that was a part of a sports team, especially because during this time there's not much that we can do to stay active or even socialize with people, and that [being] taken from us affects us not only physically but mentally as well.” Not only did the cancellation of the 2021 sports season affect past and present athletes, but it also prevented the chance for future athletes to emerge.

Sports are a way for students to get away from the stress of school and allows them to make new friendships while doing what they love. With all the stress and hardships that the Coronavirus has brought upon students this past year, being able to be a part of a team could have been really healthy and helpful for students. It could have majorly decreased the number of students that went into depression or received a case of anxiety this year. We can only hope that with the return of Wilson Sports this month, student depression and anxiety will start to recede. Hopefully everyone will stay safe and healthy so that our sports never have to go away again.

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