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Player Mackenzie Albert and Coach Francello at practice.

NHS Basketball Teams Quarantine

The NHS basketball season started on January 11, 2021. Since then, the teams have been taking many precautions to stay safe from COVID-19. Just recently, some players and coaches had gotten sick and the season had to be stopped for two weeks. Unfortunately, both the girls and boys teams were shut down and quarantined. 


On January 25, two weeks after the season started, the boys and girls teams began quarantining because of sick players and coaches. They started their season back up two weeks later with COVID-19 testing on February 8. Mr. Francello, one of the varsity girls coaches, said, “I didn’t expect this to happen, but I’m not surprised. Even with a small program of 20 athletes and coaches total, many others play a factor in the spread of a virus-like COVID-19.” 


Both teams had to reschedule missed games that were canceled while they were in quarantine. Mr. Francello is concerned about that rescheduling because it is a lot of work to set up games with other schools. They have to get buses, referees, staffing, and facility space. The teams began to practice again on February 9, and they are continuing to take all the precautions they have been previously. 


Erik Thompson, a player on the boy's basketball team, isn’t surprised things got shut down. He expected this to happen because COVID-19 spreads so easily. The players have to wear a mask for most of the practice, which can get very difficult because masks aren’t the easiest to play with. “Wearing a mask does get annoying because we run a lot and it gets hard to breathe,” Erik says. However, even though the COVID-19 precautions can be difficult, Erik still is very happy he gets to play because he loves the game. He is optimistic things will go back to more normalcy next year. 


All athletes must wear a mask when reporting to the gym and when leaving. All players and coaches get their temperature checked and sanitize their hands right before practice and games. Fortunately, the NHS custodial staff sanitizes the basketballs on a daily basis to make sure they are staying clean since many players are touching them. During practice, the coaches and athletes follow the CDC guidelines for playing. They stay six feet apart, wear masks, every player and coach gets their temperature checked every practice and game, and they take covid tests every week. 


The question is, will another covid outbreak happen again? Mr. Francello says, “As I said before, I wouldn’t be surprised. I sure hope our team can get a bunch of games this season since they work so hard in practice.” 


The NHS basketball teams are optimistic to get in lots of training and games without getting shut down again. Hopefully, they can end their season with many games and not another Covid spread.