Coaching winter sports during COVID-19


Photo by Destiny Angel

Junior Lauren Klinger makes a splash during the Crimson and White meet. The meet was held on Thursday, December 10, 2020. Mr. Greg Schuettler said, “Every sport has their own unique challenges in dealing with the pandemic.”

As the days get shorter and the chilly winter breeze begins, soon enough, it’s winter sports season. The pandemic has been difficult especially for athletes in Pottsville. Players have been asked to wear masks during practice. Masks have been required to be worn during sports, players have even been warned to keep it on at all times.

So, how are athletes handling these restrictions during the pandemic? And how are sports different from before COVID-19? When asked this, coaches felt similarly about handling restrictions during the pandemic.

When asked about the restrictions during the pandemic, basketball coach, Mr. Jake Wartella says, “As of now, sports are pretty normal.  We have to check temperatures before practices and follow some pandemic protocols like wearing masks, but we’re practicing and competing every day.  There’s a chance of some schedule changes based on other school’s protocols, but as of now, we are going on according to plan. We’ll follow any protocols we have to as long as we’re allowed to play basketball every day. ”

 Girls swim coach, Mr. Greg Schuettler says, “ Sports have had to make modifications to practices and competitions to insure the health and safety of athletes and coaches. Each sport has its own unique challenges in dealing with the pandemic.

Overall I feel athletes are doing their best to follow the return to competition guidelines. They understand that if the guidelines are not followed we will be unable to have a season.”

Wrestling assistant, Mr. Sam Julian agrees. He feels that it is important for athletes to take care of their body as well as follow precautions.

 He says, “We are following all recommended protocols. Daily temperature checks and questionnaires are filled out for our wrestlers and coaching staff. We stress good eating and sleeping habits and the importance of personal hygiene especially with COVID. Our wrestlers train to battle through adversity and although some protocols may not be popular, everyone is stepping up to comply and hopefully be allowed to compete. The competitive 2020-2021 season for Pottsville Area’s High School wrestling team will begin December 16th @ Jim Thorpe.”