Local High School Athletes Feel Effects of COVID-19

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BY JOE KELLER joseph.keller@go.mnstate.edu

Not only has the coronavirus weakened the economy, but it has also affected high school sports teams around the area. As it abruptly ended the winter sports season, the pandemic has also put the spring sports season in jeopardy for local teams.

Coaches have had to adjust to this unprecedented delay in not only games, but practices and training sessions leading up to this season as well.

“The biggest challenge for us is the gyms being closed down. With gyms being closed down it pretty much stops our flow of income. With no gym you can’t host training, camps, practices and/or have tournaments,” said Monty Gordon, Owner/Head Trainer of Inspired Athletics and its AAU basketball program.

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Monty Gordon

“Everyone is just so confused about the ‘what if‘s’ and wanting to get back in the gym. Basketball is life for most of our athletes, so it’s hard for them to accept that it has been taken away temporarily,” Gordon said.

Although gyms are not available at this time, athletes within the program are still able to do their workouts from their homes.

“We now have an app we’ve been uploading content on. On the app we have at-home workouts and a 14-day challenge to keep the kids’ skills sharp,” stated Gordon.

In challenging times like these, coaches within the Inspired Athletics program are taking measures to maintain relationships with their players and families.

“We also do team bonding with our players via FaceTime. This is to make sure our players are doing well even off the court. Making sure their families are doing well, their schoolwork is going well, and to team bond as an entire team. Of course, while practicing social distancing!” said Autumn Schlader, a trainer within the Inspired Athletics program.

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Autumn Schlader

Along with coaches, area athletes are also adjusting to these delays.

“It was really hard, I think it still is, knowing that the chances of us playing together again are slim, and they keep decreasing as the days go on,” said Hadley Huber, a senior captain for the Shanley High School girls soccer team. “So I think that’s really hard, and I think it’s been hard on a lot of my teammates just because our spring soccer season is something that we all look forward to.” 

Hadley Huber

Huber is relying on her teammates and coaches to get through these tough times.

“I’ve stayed in pretty good contact with my soccer team and my soccer coaches and just maintaining those relationships, because going through all this alone would probably not be super healthy. So I think we’ve all kind of just relied on each other to work through it,” explained Huber.

With the possibility of a partial season looming in the future, Huber is doing what she can to stay in shape.

“I’ve done some treadmill stuff, like incline, just trying to stay active. I’m not, obviously, doing the same level as I would if we were in season. I think my main thing is just trying to stay moving and not staying in the same place all day,” said Huber.

With the coronavirus still being a major concern, the chance for a partial season is still up in the air for coaches and athletes around the area.  Hopefully, they will all get the opportunity to compete this spring.

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